As students, they participated in Rochester Global Connections’ (RGC) International Friendship Program, through which they connected with a local Rochester family. One of their favorite events is RGC’s Annual Welcome Picnic, where they interacted with international students from RIT and other Rochester-area colleges. Upon graduating, both Bharat and Harshita decided to plant their roots in Rochester. This city, which was once foreign and new to them, is one they are now proud to call home. They knew that they wanted to continue their work to support international students, so they decided to join Rochester Global Connections as Board members. “We’ve been part of the RGC family for six years now – first as students, and now as volunteer leaders” says Harshita.
Bharat tells us that RGC’s board members are a diverse and inclusive team with individuals from a range of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. “RGC, which turns 60 this year, is working to stay relevant in the 21st century, while continuing to honor the legacy of past leaders,” remarked Bharat. It is clear to them that the work of RGC is crucial for a thriving community. According to Bharat, RGC allows international students to realize they are welcome in this country. “Our members open their doors and their hearts, and in so doing, embrace this organization’s mission to connect Rochester to the world and connect the world to Rochester.”
Although Harshita and Bharat have busy work schedules, they make sure to allocate time to RGC. “RGC supports a great cause and deserves our time and commitment. We would encourage more of our fellow Rochesterians to devote time to a local nonprofit - not only is it vital to ensure a flourishing community, but it also enriches one’s life experience.” Finally, they both encourage students from all over the world to travel, to live outside of the box, and to explore what is beyond home.