Anahaita Kotval: “Civic Engagement as a Way of Life”

As Upper Schoolers, we are all familiar with the idea that community service is a vital part of our SLS experience. However, most everyone pushing the idea of community service has failed to put it in the context of our lives and personal goals.

This Wednesday, the Lunch and Lead series hosted Ms. Anahaita Kotval, the Chief Operating Officer of the Inspirica Foundation. SLS has partnered with Inspirica, a company whose mission is not only to help the homeless, but also to help people attain permanent housing and security for their families.

In high school, Ms. Kotval, like most teenagers, liked certain subjects in school, specifically math and economics, but did not believe that she could make a successful career from these interests. She believed, as many students and adults do today, that one can either pursue one’s passions and make less income or take up successful jobs that are not as fulfilling. Despite her reservations about her career path, Ms. Kotval had a desire to engage with her community and do something that would be beneficial to others.

In college, she took part in several internships with government agencies that allowed her to better understand her own expectations and hone in on what career she would choose. During law school, Ms. Kotval decided to take a job working in the government agency SEC. While working as a lawyer at the SEC, she took part in a variety of different boards of management and ethics. While these opportunities did not directly help her rise through the ranks, they allowed her to build an extensive network of people who would later help her with her career.

Later, while working at Greenwich Capital (now part of RBS), she worked to oversee the company’s litigational risk. She was allowed to work with Pro Bono organizations as a volunteer. Eventually, Greenwich Capital allowed Ms. Kotval to found her own organization. She also volunteered with My Sister’s Place, which provides shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. In due course, Ms. Kotval ended up deciding to work full-time with Inspirica to aid those in need.

Thus, through telling us her path to Inspirica, Ms. Kotval demonstrated that community service should be relevant to your life. Partaking in civic engagement often can directly tie in with your own interests and careers. Although different experiences during your career may not directly result in immediate success, they allow you to enhance your knowledge base, your network, and help you give back to your communities.

–Khush Dhaliwal and Maria Juran, Staff Writers

Posted by on December 3, 2012. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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