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7-6-22 — Graduate Believes Good Leadership is Key

July 6, 2022 ~ Miles Swaminathan graduated from Olathe Northwest High School with confidence in his #OPSMyFuture, leading him to pursue Piano Performance at Indiana University in the fall. Although piano is his passion, Swaminathan explored leadership opportunities in both the Engineering Academy and his extracurriculars.

“I knew that regardless of what I do, I wanted to be a good leader,” Swaminathan said. “Being in certain groups like Raven Flight Corps, LINK Crew, and Sources of Strength really made me think about what that looks like. I wanted to learn what it entails to be someone that not only guides people and serves the community, but also takes charge and accountability.”

Raven Flight Corps is made up of student leaders, while LINK Crew members mentor freshman, and Sources of Strength members focus on mental health. Through these groups, Swaminathan built confidence in his leadership abilities.

“One of the things we need more in this world is leaders acting as a beacon of light to help others that need support and guidance,” Swaminathan said. “My freshman year, I struggled a little bit. And I began to thrive because of my LINK Crew leaders who helped point me in the right direction and encouraged me to do good in my community. I wanted to do that for others.”

Swaminathan also credits all his teachers, especially his Engineering Academy facilitators, for showing him he could combine his leadership skills and academic skills to serve his community.

“One of the things that brings joy to my life, aside from music, is the knowledge and experience that I have gained from the Engineering Academy,” Swaminathan said. “I want to use my brain for good. And the Engineer a Better World Capstone gave me the platform to do so.”

Swaminathan was awarded the National 1st Place Winner in the International Technology and Engineering Educators’ Association Reach Challenge for an ergonomic utensil device that allows an individual to gain the independence of feeding themselves.

“Even though I loved every experience in high school, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done was being able to create that device for a student to help her eat on her own,” he said. “When we brought it over, she figured out how to use it quickly and she was super excited. It brought tears to everyone’s eyes in the room.”

Swaminathan leaves Olathe Northwest with several achievements, including the Faculty Award as well as various national and local scholarship awards. But most importantly, Swaminathan leaves Olathe Northwest a better place due to his commitment to servant leadership.