Paloma Hashemi

What are you involved in at school?

“I am in several clubs, on the ambassador leadership team and am heavily involved in the theatre department—acting, directing and producing. My schedule is completely packed, but I wouldn’t give up any of these experiences.”

Do you volunteer for a nonprofit organization?

“I volunteer for Anchorless Productions, a student-run theatre company located in the South Bay that works with people who have developmental disabilities. I started working with Anchorless during the height of the pandemic as a performance volunteer, and my job was to help students memorize lines. Even through Zoom, I could tell that the volunteers genuinely enjoyed what they were doing, cared about the students and, most importantly, viewed them as their equals, which Anchorless places heavy emphasis on. 

Since then, I’ve become Anchorless Production’s web developer, and I’ve had the opportunity to codirect the musical Seussical. I truly believe that the students are incredible actors because of their disabilities, not in spite of them. I’ve watched Anchorless grow so much in such a short period of time, and I plan on continuing with them until my time in high school is over.”

Do you consider yourself artistic? 

“Yes, especially when it comes to music. I have been playing the piano with classical training for nearly 13 years. During the pandemic, piano became my newfound creative outlet rather than a chore I did to please my parents. Classical music once felt like a genre that was far too distant from my life and overly distinguished for me. Now it feels like relief.”