by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Award-Winning Volunteer

student_hariharan2Soon-to-be Mt. Carmel junior Leona Hariharan enjoys the communal camaraderie in her hometown of Poway. She explained, “There’s constantly something going on, and I love participating in community events like the rodeo and the parade. These events bring the community together.”

There are numerous ways Leona participates as a volunteer within the San Diego community. She is the Poway District president of the All Girls STEM Society, which encourages girls to pursue careers in STEM fields. She also holds the CYE (Council for Youth Empowerment) Miss Coastal Cities pageant title, which enables her to volunteer in such events as the Light the Night Run and the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance Car Show. In addition, she volunteers in the Oncology department at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

Name: Leona Hariharan (16)
School: Mt. Carmel High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Jamuna Hariharan
Favorite Spot: Old Poway Park


Commenting on her vast community participation, Leona stated, “Volunteering is one of my favorite activities! I even received the Gold Presidential Award for volunteering over 250 hours in one year.” Crediting her classmates with motivating her to succeed, Leona admitted, “I am constantly inspired by my peers at school. Everyone constantly pushes each other to be their very best and they are all so accomplished.”

student_hariharan3Leona’s thirst for constant involvement extends to her school activities. She is not only active in dance, cheer, and drama, but is also the treasurer of the Future Doctors of America, the head of publicity for the Key Club, and she’s the secretary for the Friendship Club, which promotes social opportunities for students with disabilities. Notable school awards she’s earned include the Most Scholarly Athlete two years in a row for cheer, and the Most Spirited Award for the Academic League.

Discussing her favorite subjects, Leona said, “I like math because I can see the real life application, and the problems are like little puzzles. I also like science because it explains the nature of the world.” Leona hopes to study bioengineering in college, and then pursue a medical degree.

Always the go-getter, Leona laughed, “I am adventurous and have a bucket list of things I’d like to do before I am 30. I have already completed some things on my list: cliff diving, bungee jumping, and running a 5K!” We can’t wait to see what else this ambitious young woman will accomplish in the future!