November 9, 2021

The Social Institute Student Influencer Program: Introducing Anoushka Jani

One of the Seven Social Standards that The Social Institute believes in is: Finding Your Influencers. This means surrounding yourself with positive role models who support you and encourage you to play to your core. To help students find these positive and credible influences, we began our Student Influencer Program. Each week we select a different student to take over our Instagram and highlight how they act as a positive influence and inspiration in their communities.

This week we are excited to introduce Anoushka Jani. She is a high school senior from Broomfield, Colorado. Anoushka is a mental health research intern for the Colorado Youth Congress where she empowers young students to create change for systematic issues in Colorado. Her research identifies the issues within the youth mental health system and offers solutions to create long-lasting change. Being a part of the Colorado Youth Congress has allowed Anoushka to grow her passion for mental health as well as expand her leadership skills.

Anoushka Jani

Recently, we interviewed Anoushka to learn more about her and how social media impacts her life. Here’s what she had to say:

What do you value about yourself or others?

Anoushka: I value my ability to maintain who I am as a person but also adapt to different situations. I have realized the importance of my unique attributes and believe that it is so important to stay true to who I am no matter what situations I am put into! Additionally, I value my quiet leadership style. When we think of leaders, quiet is not often the first word that comes to mind. However, I have found the power in my quiet and calm leadership style and its effectiveness, which I value about myself! 

What are your personal goals?

Anoushka: As a high school senior, I have been thinking about this question a lot recently! Right now, I want to get into a college where I find a strong community and encouraging classmates. I want to study Neuroscience and Computer Science in college due to my interest in the brain and my budding interest in technology. My goal is to either go to medical school and become a doctor or go into technology and work with artificial intelligence. However, future plans are constantly changing, so I am going to go with the flow and am excited to see what my future has in store! Apart from academic goals, I am striving to continue building my leadership skills in new ways and through new experiences. I want to be able to identify all of the strengths that I hold as a leader and work on the development of leadership skills that I have not harnessed yet!

How have you felt since returning to in-person school?

Anoushka: I love it! I was a fully remote student last year, so spending every day looking at black Zoom screens for seven hours a day took a toll on my mental health and isolated me. I felt like my social skills had been stunted because I had not been around a fellow classmate or friend in over a year. Additionally, I was using my computer for long amounts of time as an unhealthy habit because I was spending less time outdoors or balancing it with other healthy activities. So, being back in school, I have been able to reconnect with all of my friends (and make new ones!) as well as participate in school events that I missed incredibly! Being my senior year, my school has put in a lot of effort to give all of the students a memorable last year before we head off in our different directions, making being back in person so special and meaningful.

 What are the things you try to accomplish each day?

Anoushka: With a busy schedule, it can be difficult to balance out my days, but I have a few things I love to do every day. I go to school every day which takes up most of my day, but at school, I try to talk to new people every day or strike up conversations with my teachers. I think that creating new connections and relationships with the people in my life is so incredibly important! After school, I love to go on drives by myself and blast music. I consider this to be a form of self-care because I get to spend time by myself listening to my favorite music and looking at the beautiful Colorado scenery. It truly is a stress-reliever for me and refreshes my mindset. As a high schooler, I get a lot of homework so I dedicate a large portion of my evening to completing it as well! Additionally, with my involvement in community clubs and as an intern for the Colorado Youth Congress, I try to accomplish as much work as I can for each of the organizations every evening, which is often my favorite part of the day! As a teenager who has grown up in the digital age, I also try to wind down with some dedicated social media time where I can scroll through Instagram or Tik Tok, or Snapchat my friends and communicate with them. Finally, sleep is a huge deal to me, so I try to get at least 7-8 hours a night!

What or who inspires you most?

Anoushka: Other youth! Seeing more and more youth use their voices to speak on issues they care about and take actionable steps towards solving them is so inspiring to me. It encourages me to keep working on the issues that I care about because I know other students are beginning to do the same. It is incredible to watch fellow students create a strong community and empower each other through passion, whether they are passionate about the same topic or not. 

How has social media acted as a positive influence on your life?

Anoushka: Social media has allowed me to connect with friends and family in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise! For example, throughout the pandemic, I strictly limited my physical interactions with others, so my main method of communication was through social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram. As a result, I was able to maintain strong relationships and create new friendships too! I am also able to stay in contact with friends and family who live in different states or countries!

Of our Seven Social standards, which one do you most resonate with and why?

Anoushka: I resonate the most with Strike a Balance because that is what I am working on right now! It can be hard to find the right balance between spending time on social media and completing other tasks but it is so necessary. I have started to create schedules where I write down all my daily tasks and organize them by priority, but also include breaks where I can go on social media or do an activity I like, striking that balance!

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give to her about navigating social media or social relationships?

Anoushka: If I could give my younger self advice about navigating social media, I would tell her to set limits on how much time she can spend on social media each day. As I have grown older, I have realized the longer that I spend on social media, the more damaging it is not only for my self-esteem but also for my daily schedule. Spending too much time on social media takes away from accomplishing other tasks or even making new memories away from the screen! Taking time away from social media allows me to ground myself in my reality and away from some of the unrealistic images that may be portrayed on Instagram, allowing for time to work on self-confidence and self-love! 🙂

We are so excited to have Anoushka as a part of the student influencer program. As a mental health research intern, Anoushka has done pervasive work disarming the stigmas around mental health and empowering young students. We can not wait to watch her continue to impact youth and create lasting change. If you know a student who is accomplishing great things, we want to highlight them! We love sharing impressive students with the world. Contact us here.

About The Social Institute

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology. Schools access our student-respected, turnkey curriculum through, an interactive, gamified learning platform. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive SEL program through a unique and positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more. For more information on how to empower your students to make high-character decisions online and off, please contact us.