Captain champions low-income students


Xavier Johnson

Speech team captain Shreejal Luitel practices a persuasive speech for an upcoming speech tournament in Stockton in the Speech Lab in AA-219 on Monday evening.

By Denis Perez, Creative Director

Economics major Shreejal Luitel has continuously enlightened his community with strings of ideas, coordinated plans and direct actions.

Since completing an intensive microeconomics boot camp at the University of Chicago, the Middle College High School junior co-created Richmond Codes in 2017 to breed programmers from underrepresented school systems and communities through mentorship, academic exposure and hands-on coding workshops.

Shreejal is also the captain of the award-winning speech team at Contra Costa College.

“I am privileged,” 17-year-old Luitel said. Despite living in a household with two low-income parents in Richmond, his view of the world leaves him living well.

His view of the world begins in Kathmandu, Nepal, where his family and friends live. He was born in Nepal in 2002 and migrated to the U.S. in 2009.

“I compare myself to them (Nepalese people),” Luitel said. The resources, education and equipment Luitel has access to here in America is above what the average Nepalese person has access to.

If he were raised in Nepal, Luitel could have been limited, but in the U.S., he is being nourished into a strong community leader.

If elected to the student trustee position, he plans to understand how to maximize investments in the district. He also hopes to find ways to merge different department programs that can benefit from working together.

He also wants to market resources more clearly to students.

Departments that have high quality programs are not being done justice through their college’s promotion, Luitel said.

“Shreejal (Luitel) is half my age with twice as much understanding,” speech department Chairperson Randy Carver said.

Through his speeches, projects and organizations, Carver said, he attains equity for his community.

Luitel cares deeply about CCC he said. “Shreejal (Luitel) does not wear the CCC hoodie lightly.”

Luitel has committed himself to practicing speech and has competed at the national collegiate level.

“I put in long hours, but he is here before me and will leave after me,” Carver said. “His level of commitment shows his deep passion for his community’s development.”

Luitel’s campaign manager Kelanu Ranganath said he is excited because through helping Luitel get elected, he will be helping make a positive change for the district.

At first Ranganath, who has been paid to create websites and create campaign materials, was hesitant to jump in. However, Luitel’s sincere attitude and honest persona persuaded him.

“He came up to me and asked me, ‘What change do you want me to make,’” Ranganath said.

Luitel’s empathy and compassion reflects in the way he talks to you, he said.

“He has already worked with enacted change,” Ranganath said, and will make a difference if elected as student trustee.