by LINDA FRABL | photos by Forever Photography by Liberty

Helping Immigrants

student_krishnan1Sarina Krishnan, a junior at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, relishes the constant variety of experiences she has from both her urban-based school and her more rural home life in Poway. Sarina explained, “I enjoy living among nature, animals, and a somewhat slow-paced life; it’s a nice change from the hectic schedule involved in attending my school. I have been exposed to a wide variety of cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities, and I am constantly surrounded by new people and new ideas.”

Citing her school’s sense of inclusiveness for influencing her own civic-mindedness, Sarina said, “I believe my school has cultivated a remarkable sense of acceptance and kindness. I feel very comfortable speaking with my teachers and peers on a variety of current events, and as a result my interest in public policy and civics has grown immensely.” In fact, Sarina was the only high school student doing an internship at former Congressman Darrell Issa’s office, and she helped work on Diane Harkey’s congressional campaign.

Fully embracing her desire to provide a better world for all resulted in Sarina’s founding her own nonprofit organization, Pathways to Assimilation. Its aim is to assist newly arrived refugees and immigrants with acclimating to the United States. Sarina exclaimed, “I’ve read so much in the news about the major reductions in government funding to help these newly arrived refugees and immigrants, and that motivated me to do something to help these underserved groups.”

Name: Sarina Krishnan (16)
School: The Bishop’s School
Grade: 11
Parents: Anitha Krishnan, Sri Gopal
Sibling: Nikita Krishnan (18)
Favorite Local Spot: Yogurtland


Her nonprofit organization helps immigrants ultimately achieve economic sufficiency in numerous ways: English language lessons, academic tutoring, assistance in applying for a driver’s license, and vocational skill training (i.e., nursing, starting one’s own ethnic catering business, working in the police department, etc.) Sarina added, “The intent is to provide refugees with programs and opportunities to fulfill their American dreams.”

An avid piano player since the age of six, Sarina proclaimed, “I often tutor students with special needs in music theory, so they too can experience the joys of music.” In the future, Sarina hopes to either work for the U.S. State Department, or for one of the specialized agencies in the United Nations. She declared, “Regardless of my specific career choice, I am sure it will revolve around making the community a more cohesive, peaceful place for everyone to enjoy.”