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The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

Muruganandham brings science to life through volunteering, TSA

Vibha Viswanath
Coppell High School senior Yuvan Muruganandham volunteers at the Coppell Biodiversity Center and specializes in educating children during special events. Muruganandham was recognized for his hours of community service for the city of Coppell.

A smile escapes from Coppell High School senior Yuvan Muruganandham as he sits in front of the chess board, his king surrounded. His opponent – a young attendee at the Cozby library – giggles in victory as Muruganandham congratulates him amidst the greenery at the Biodiversity Education Center.

At first glance, Muruganandham is of few words. His reserved nature does not make him stand out among a crowd. But, upon pulling back the curtain, it is Muruganandham’s profound humility through which he touches hearts. 

Whether stocking shelves in the Cozby library, organizing TSA events or teaching children at the Biodiversity Education Center, Muruganandham has an intrinsic service mindset within his every work, hoping to improve the lives of others.

His involvement in the community started during his sophomore year, when he began volunteering for the city of Coppell. Muruganandham  describes seeing a poster at The CORE requesting teen volunteers.  Muruganadham was intrigued and decided to sign up,  a decision that eventually added up to 341.25 hours over his three years of service, and a certificate for most service hours for the summer of 2023.

Much of his work involves interacting with entertaining and educating children at the Cozby library or Coppell Biodiversity Education Center,through events such as the Cozby’s summer reading events or the Coppell Biodiversity Education Center’s wild by nature program. His supervisor at the Coppell Biodiversity Center, Jonathon Ward recalls a memorable event with Muruganandham.

“This past summer the BEC got a new game ‘Backyard Bass,’ at the end of the program Yuvan and some of the other volunteers would have a competition to see who could catch the most fish,” Ward said. “I have to say, Yuvan was one of the better fishermen and he let the volunteers know about it too. Hearing the banter between them was a highlight for my summer.”

Muruganandham describes the many skills he’s learned over his time through speaking at the BCE. He learned to talk with enough clarity to engage both children and parents, while coordinating events. Muruganandham finds his public speaking, adaptability and communication skills have developed over the years, alongside growing confidence in himself.

“I’m more open to helping people out, before I just minded my own business,” Muruganandham said. “I didn’t really go out and interact with people. Through volunteering, I’m interacting with so many new people I haven’t met before that I have gained self confidence.”

His work doesn’t stop at volunteering, Muruganandham is also treasurer of the technology student association (TSA) at CHS. Yuvan is well suited for his role, being highly involved with CHS’s STEM programs, this with his volunteer work teaching and organizing have served him well in his leadership role. 

Much of his work isn’t directly connected to technology.  Rather, it involves organizing community service and public relations to connect TSA members with the community at Coppell.

His selflessness and desire to help others is not limited to his work or clubs, nor is it lost on those around him as TSA secretary and friend of Muruganandham, Tanvi Nikam recounts.

 “I remember one day I had an English project I was working on and he stayed in class during lunch to help me with my project, even though he didn’t have to,” Nikam said. “ He volunteers not for himself but to help the community and help others be better.”

Muruganadham plans to continue his volunteer work in college, to join various community service and STEM related clubs and organizations.  Although he finds that his volunteer work hasn’t influenced his interest in STEM, it has influenced what he would like to focus on with his future career in computer science. In particular, developing artificial intelligence and improving AI ethics.

“I want to be able to develop artificial intelligence to help others out, to create a better world,” Muruganandham said. “With volunteering I was able to make a difference in my community and help out the adults or the children growing up right now,”

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About the Contributors
Noor Fatima
Noor Fatima, Staff Designer

As an excited, wide-eyed Noor walked into D115 for the first time on the first day of her sophomore year, she tilted her head in confusion and thought to herself, “I thought this was an art class, why are there newspaper awards lining the walls?” Despite stumbling into the program by accident, Coppell High School senior and Sidekick graphic designer Noor Fatima found her place in the newspaper.  

Expanding beyond her expectation of designing graphics, Noor has tried a variety of mediums in the program. She enjoys writing stories and drawing graphics.  She grew up in Canada and moved to Texas five years ago, where she joined The Sidekick in her sophomore year of high school.

 She is the secretary of The Coppell Young Writers Association, and has a deep passion for writing. She appreciates the convergence of writing and multimedia that The Sidekick has, and believes that they go together. “People often separate writing, photos, and graphic design, but I think they are amplified and speak for each other when put together,” Noor says. 

Her favorite genre of music is J-pop, and enjoys listening to artists such as  Yoasobi and Kanaria. Noor is fond of rainy weather, and she loves to spend rainy days reading a good book with a warm cup of coffee. She enjoys reading a mix of manga and the occasional novel, and doodling characters from series she likes in her sketchbook. She wishes to pursue writing, and publish a graphic novel in the future. You can contact her at [email protected].

Vibha Viswanath
Vibha Viswanath, Staff Photographer
Vibha Viswanath is a junior and staff photographer for The Sidekick. This year, Vibha hopes to try new things in Sidekick, explore her interests, and work on various types of media. In her free time, she likes to bake and watch TV. Her favorite TV show is New Girl, and she likes to watch movies with family and friends. Her favorite food is drunken noodles, and she loves to drink Starbucks and Diet Coke. As a member of HOSA, she aspires to study medicine and become a surgeon. You can contact Vibha at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @vibha_kv.  

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