5 questions with…community service star Aditya Rengaswamy

When Aditya Rengaswamy was in high school, he signed up for a community service trip to Haiti that changed his outlook on life. Now, he’s “hooked on community service” and is bringing that dedication to Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland community.

For example, Rengaswamy, a first-year accounting student in the accelerated master’s program, recently started the Cleveland chapter of Kids Against Hunger, a national humanitarian group that provides high-nutrition, vitamin-fortified packaged meals to individuals in need around the world. Now, these meals will help out close to home, as Rengaswamy and about 130 Case Western Reserve University volunteers package 28,000 meals for Cleveland-area residents during tomorrow’s Saturday of Service event.

In addition to Kids Against Hunger, Rengaswamy has started multiple other ventures in Cleveland and around campus, such as the Student Leadership Connection with John Hay High School and the Case Political Union, which unites the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian groups on campus to take part in community service projects together. Also, in conjunction with the campus organization Case for Sight, Rengaswamy developed a program between American Greetings and the Cleveland Sight Center to provide audio cards to the center’s clients for their birthdays.

It’s a long list of accomplishments for a student not yet finished with his first year, but Rengaswamy has no intention of slowing down—until it starts affecting his academics, of course.

“With a little bit of effort, and when you’re able to find the right people and work with the right people, things happen,” he said.

Learn more about Rengaswamy, a current USG representative, in our weekly “5 questions with” feature.

1.What superpower would you most like to have?
The ability to morph into other living things—I’ve always wanted to see things from various perspectives, especially microscopic ones.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
Melt. The food is extremely good.

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronomer. I guess that explains why I still have a fascination for the stars and science and enjoy writing my weird science column in the observer.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
Professionally, meeting President Barack Obama through Boys Nation, winning various state and national speech contests in high school, and making an impact on thousands of lives through service and social entrepreneurship with groups like Kids Against Hunger. Not everyone gets a chance to do those things.

Personally, I’m proud of my commitment to trying a variety of things as a freshman this year. Near the very beginning of college, a part of me wanted to specialize and only do one or two things from the get go. I have not followed that desire, and I have gotten the chance to see so much! It is really exciting to experience what Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland have to offer.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
My fraternity (Theta Chi), USG, and all of the service-oriented projects CWRU loves to do. I love making an impact, and these entities do that day in and day out. Ultimately, the ability to make others smile and create a better world is what drives me, and as I challenge myself to think beyond the possible, it is inspiring to see CWRU doing the same.


Know someone you’d like to see featured in our weekly “5 questions with” segment? Email case-daily@case.edu with suggestions.