HomeTop StoriesBZ's MVP: Marlboro's Risha Khanderia raises awareness for Special Olympics, inclusivity

BZ’s MVP: Marlboro’s Risha Khanderia raises awareness for Special Olympics, inclusivity

Marlboro – Marlboro senior Risha Khanderia’s high school resume is impressive – which is why she is this week’s BZ MVP.

“I am the class president. I am on the school committee as a student representative. I am also the student ambassador for Special Olympics,” Khanderia said.

She is also a three-sport athlete and graduates in the top 5% of her class. When she’s not planning prom, homecoming or graduation, the two-term class president is often active on the track as captain of the outdoor track team.

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Marlboro senior Risha Khanderia is class president, a three-sport athlete and an advocate for Special Olympics.

CBS Boston


“In high school, I know part of it was wanting to show myself more. I’m a pretty big minority in this school…Me and my twin sister are the only Indian students in my grade,” Khanderia said. “My parents didn’t grow up here, they grew up in Africa. We spent our time during the summers they were growing up, so I see the life I could have lived if they had stayed there, and I see it The life has me here now and all the opportunities I have with my education and all the opportunities with extracurricular activities.

But her favorite extracurricular is Special Olympics, and Khanderia has even gone to Capitol Hill to raise awareness and funds for the program.

“She is an advocate for our children with disabilities,” said Graham Asum, the uniform track coach at Marlboro High School. “She does a phenomenal job with those guys.”

“I have always pushed for more inclusive practices. We started having uniform classes in our school, which did not exist when I was a freshman and sophomore,” Khanderia said.

As captain of the unified track and basketball, Khanderia led with kindness.

‘Not everyone can do what they can. Not everyone can connect with these kids at the level she can,” Asum said.

And Khanderia doesn’t just make herself more seen than the people around her.

“It’s just so incredible to see an inclusive game where everyone can be competitive in a friendly way. It’s just so exciting to see the smiles on their faces there,” Khanderia said.

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