In life, the very best among us are those who give without expecting anything in return.
Aryan Ghanadan is just such a person.
On Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, the almost-18-year-old Eagle Scout aspirant swooped in to Verde Elementary in Richmond equipped with 10,000 school supplies he had worked diligently to collect.
The effort was part of a service project Ghanadan was completing toward earning his Eagle Scout designation. In striving to become an Eagle Scout, “we do projects to show that we’re doing service to others and demonstrating leadership,” Ghanadan told For Richmond. “The whole philosophy is doing good unto others and showing leadership.”
“I’ve been really fortunate with my education, Ghanadan added. “Part of why was because I had a lot of great people helping me succeed. To be successful in education you need supplies, so I wanted to make sure they had the tools to succeed.”
It took Ghanadan, an Alamo resident and senior at Monte Vista High School in Danville, an entire year to plan and execute the donations of supplies from his community—a gargantuan feat he accomplished by knocking on more than 600 doors with a group of volunteers.
Ghanadan first learned about Verde Elementary via his Leadership Class at school, during which he helped collect stockings filled with goodies for the school’s underserved students during the holiday season.
On his initial visit, the scout was struck by Verde Elementary’s core values: curiosity, gratitude, grit, kindness, self-control and vision. “I wanted to support their philosophy, as well as the students and teachers,” Ghanadan said re: deciding to return to the school to perform his service project.
The supplies were delivered during a celebration in the school’s library that included the school’s students and teachers. Ghanadan and his father, Majid Ghanadan, hauled boxes into the school overflowing with crayons, colored pencils, #2 pencils, Post-it notes, tape, printer paper, glue sticks, tissues and other useful supplies.
In case their beaming faces didn’t express it enough, Verde Elementary teachers and students gave Ghanadan thank you notes that they had decorated as a sign of their appreciation.
“It is people like Aryan that help us teachers and students stay motivated toward reaching our goals. We’re happy to know that others outside of our community believe in our incredible students as much as we do,” Verde Elementary second-grade teacher Rachel Ricker told For Richmond.
Ricker and her colleague Merrill Pierce, a fourth-grade teacher, have been tasked with distributing the scout’s supplies throughout the school.
The impact of Ghanadan’s supplies has stretched beyond their practical application to also provide a teachable moment for the school’s teachers.
“It’s inspiring for our kids that another young person is able to implement this whole project,” said Ricker, who added, “We talked about projects they can lead in our community.”
Following graduation, Ghanadan plans to study business management and economics at a University of California school. Although he is uncertain of which career he would like to pursue, he told For Richmond that “whatever I do, I want to be able to help.”