SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita High School Class of 2024 graduate Rishika Ravichandran never passes up an opportunity to help others. Whether she is participating in a local food drive, assisting in a National Honor Society clothing drive, or preparing incoming freshmen for high school life as Bonita’s Link Crew senior director, Ravichandran is committed to helping others in need.

Ravichandran’s volunteer spirit was recently recognized by the Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity, who presented her with its Community Builder award, given to young community leaders and high-achieving students, during a ceremony held April 28 at the Fairplex Sheraton. State Sen. Susan Rubio and San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman were keynote speakers at the event.

Ravichandran, who maintained a 4.8 GPA her senior year, will attend the University of California, San Diego in the fall to study mathematics-computer science, following in the footsteps of her older brother, who will graduate from the college this year.

“Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for honoring me with this award,” Ravichandran said. “In many ways I feel like I have been gifted in life, and I want to be able to share that gift with others. Being able to help someone in need is a truly wonderful thing for someone to do.”

Ravichandran was new to Bonita Unified when she arrived at school as a freshman, hoping to find her footing as a new student while navigating through COVID-era online learning and finding it hard to make connections.

Things changed dramatically for Ravichandran in her sophomore year when she joined Bonita High’s popular “D” Street Dance Team. Ravichandran bonded immediately with her dance team mentors, leading to her most cherished memory of high school, when the dance team performed in a Knott’s Berry Farm competition. Ravichandran continued to perform with “D” Street during her years at Bonita High and served as captain of the unit during her senior year.

As a former champion gymnast in the USA Xcel program, as well as a performer and teacher of the classical Indian Kathak dance, Ravichandran has brought unique styles and skills to the “D” Street Dance Team.

“My freshman year was tough but I soon found that making friends at Bonita was easy, because everyone is so friendly,” Ravichandran said. “I really looked up to my senior mentors my first year on the team. They were so supportive. Even though they have all graduated, we remain close. One day I’d like to open a dance studio.”

Joining Bonita’s dance team was just the start for Ravichandran, who spent four years in Bonita’s California Scholarship Federation club and two years in National Honor Society. Getting involved in leadership, Ravichandran is the current Associated Student Body (ASB) vice president and Bonita’s House of Representatives chairman.

Ravichandran has also been recognized with the Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction award, selected for Bonita’s Principal’s List multiple times and is a Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation nominee.

“Rishika is a true community leader and has developed as a role model for others on campus,” said Bonita ASB advisor Julie Pocino, who nominated Ravichandran for the award. “Rishika approaches every day the same way, as an opportunity to do something good for a friend, neighbor, classmate, or an entire community. She is most deserving of this honor.”


BUSD_RAVICHANDRAN: Bonita High School Class of 2024 graduate Rishika Ravichandran has been recognized by the Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity, receiving its Community Builder award.