Where Are They Now: Luisro Mehtaab Singh Luna ('13)

Luisro looking absolutely ecstatic while skydiving for his birthday celebration in 2016.

Luisro looking absolutely ecstatic while skydiving for his birthday celebration in 2016.

Right now, I’m working as a Sustainability Consultant for a small consulting enterprise and studying Sustainable Development Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey. Additionally, I've been doing an internship on sustainability with Boehringer Ingelheim Mexico this semester. I usually go to work after my studies, which has been difficult and time-consuming, but I try to stay active with my other hobbies. For example, I'm currently taking the level 2 Kundalini Yoga teacher training course, Stress & Vitality; I only have one more level 2 module left before I have completed all of them! In my free time I like to train Muay Thai, watch some movies and series, and hang out with my friends from school or MPA and just have a good time. I also keep up a strong meditation and yoga practice.

After this semester, I’m planning to work towards some ISO-XXXXX certifications, (an international accreditation for my consulting work), and also train as a Muay Thai teacher. Afterwards, my plan is to finish my studies and work towards a Masters degree in Permaculture, in Holland or other perhaps another country.

As far as words of wisdom to share with current MPA students as well as my Alumni peers, I find that being authentic is really important. Never let people make your choices for you, because no one else knows you better than yourself. There is no greater challenge in life than to stay true to yourself.

Where Are They Now: Gagan Singh ('13)

Gagan Singh looking fly on a motorcycle.

Gagan Singh looking fly on a motorcycle.

Hi Everyone,

I currently work at Ramana's Garden Children's home, an NGO based in Rishikesh, India. Some of my tasks include caring for our children, waking them up at 5am to do PT,(like at MPA), helping to teach our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders using tablets donated by Visions Global Empowerment India, and managing the daily purchases as well as plumbing and electricity maintenance. 

I was taken in by Ramana's Garden when I was two years old. The work I do here is my Seva, my service to my community. My experience at MPA helped teach me the importance of Seva. Going to the golden temple often,  I would see people wash dishes, make chapatis, clean the parkarma, and even polish shoes, all because they wanted to serve their community. This touched me very deeply, and inspired me to serve at Ramana's Garden without pay. My payment is knowing that I am working to help children, regardless of caste, creed, or social-economic background, get access to quality education, nutrition, and medical help.

There are many challenges that we face at the center each day. There are many people living in extreme poverty who come to us with their children. Unfortunately, we cannot take in every child and because of that we have to make very painful decisions. Many relatives of the children come to us and try to lie to us, saying that the children's parents are dead. We have to ask for the children's parent's death certificate as proof that this is true, and after we do, most people don't come back. This most often happens with young girls, at least 15 to 20 times per day, because girls are considered a financial burden in most of India. 

Another difficult challenge that we face is that many things are not done in a timely manner in India. MPA taught us to manage our time wisely, but in India, "just 5 minutes" can mean "just 5 hours". We have a large compound and have many electrical problems, which means that we have to call an electrician every 3 or 4 days. Many times, the electrician will show up late, and sometimes not at all. This also happens with plumbers, masons, and carpenters, and can very frustrating. I am thankful for the strength that MPA gave me to face these kinds of daily problems. My meditation practice helps me a lot. 

Another gift from MPA has been learning to sing and play the harmonium. I had never sung in my life, but having taking the opportunity to study music at MPA has change my life. I am still practicing and will be playing a concert at the five-star hotel, Ananda in the Himalayas with other Ramana's students. Having this relationship with music is truly a blessing. 

Where Are They Now: Dashiell Hock ('14)

At the moment, I have two jobs that require very different skill sets. During the days, I cook full-time at Bollywood Theater, an excellent Indian street-food restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I spend my day making lassis, samosas, curries, vindaloo, chutneys, pav bhaji, kati rolls, aloo tikki, raita, chai, and a lot of other delicious things. I really enjoy cooking Indian cuisine because I get to use so many different types of ingredients and interesting spices. I usually come home smelling like masalas, covered in turmeric or beet juice, which can be a totally overwhelming visual/olfactory experience for some people but I love it. Another great thing about Indian cuisine, especially street-food, is that there is so much variety! The diverse geography of India has caused it's people to create so many different types of food depending on the climate, cooking methods/fuel, and available ingredients. There are always more cookbooks/recipes to pour through and new dishes to discover. Working in the food industry in Portland is also great because our seasons are so distinct and we have so many local food producers. At Bollywood, we always have seasonal specials and try to use seasonal ingredients in our staple dishes whenever we can. For example, we're doing a radish green, green garlic, and spring onion roti with rhubarb chutney as one of our specials right now. Sounds pretty tasty, right? 

Working in the food industry can have it's challenges; Long days standing on your feet and hunched over a butcher's block, frequent cuts and burns, and a standard of excellence that we're always trying to improve, but at the end of the day, cooking is what I love, it's my meditation, it's the perfect creative outlet for my obsessive-compulsive brain, and it's a way for me to serve my community and promote wellness in one of the oldest and most simple ways that exists.

When I'm not cooking, I'm working as part of the MPA Alumni Association. The community of MPA, (including GRD, 4S, and GNFC), Alumni is extremely diverse, multicultural, and has members in every continent with a variety of different professional backgrounds including entrepreneurs, artists, scientists/engineers, teachers, yogis, medical professionals, social justice activists, and many more. Our mission, (from my perspective), is to create a network and platform for this culturally diverse, international, growing community of people to communicate, collaborate, and work together to accomplish their goals. I really enjoy working to create an organization with a mission that's so positive, and we have a lot of creative freedom to achieve this goal.

We're always looking for new ideas to engage our alumni community while also making a positive impact in/connecting with other communities. For instance, we're producing and curating an awesome spiritual art exhibition in Sante Fe, New Mexico, from June 6th-24th called the Sanctuary for Spirituality. Our intention with this exhibition is to showcase artwork inspired by one's relationship to their spirituality, however they may express that. We have over 30 submissions and artists from multiple countries and faiths from around the world, a lot of which are MPA Alumni! I've personally never curated or produced an art exhibition like this before, but it's been a blast so far and a great learning experience! I'm really excited to help create this inclusive space, promote spiritual and alumni artwork, and put together an art grant that MPA students will be able to apply for with part of the proceeds from this show. 

Between these two jobs, I end up working about 50 hours a week. While this is kind of a lot, it's not very uncommon in my life. Before I had this work schedule, I was going to school and working, both full-time. I'm starting to realize that I'm a chronic work-a-holic... But when I'm not working, I try to spend my time exercising and learning. I try to go the Circuit bouldering gym once a day if I can make it. I volunteer at a local bike shop that builds and donates bicycles to children who are on free/reduced lunch programs whenever I can. I also just bought an old 1982 Suzuki FZ50 moped for $85 that I plan on restoring and riding around for fun. I know a little about bicycle mechanics, but very little about engines so I'm stoked to learn more!

As far as words of wisdom/thoughts to share with other MPA Alumni and current MPA students, all I can really say is that MPA truly changed my life in a lot of really positive ways. Studying spirituality, learning about my own consciousness, communication, relationships, yoga, medication, and physical/mental/spiritual wellness is extremely value when you're a teenager. There aren't many places you can study that kind of content, or even that many where it's valued in the way that it is at MPA, but all of those things together can create an extremely powerful and solid foundation that you can apply to everything you do for the rest of your life. 

I guess the advice that I would give to current MPA students is to try and get as much as you out of your experience in India. There may be some things you gravitate towards and some things you don't. Put your energy into learning about the things that interest you, and give the things that don't a chance just to see what they're about. Try everything in the MPA curriculum at least once. When you graduate, you might not continue to recite Japji, do yoga, or meditate every day, I certainly don't, (but you might), and either way it's totally fine. These will always be practices that you can pick back up if you feel like they will benefit your life. These practices are also just a few of many ways that you can manage your mental/physical/spiritual wellness; there are many more you can explore to find out what makes you feel happy, healthy, and whole. What I'm really thankful for is that MPA taught me what it means to and how I could manage mental/physical/spiritual wellness, and for that, I'll be forever grateful. 

This is one of the reasons that I'm working to build the MPA Alumni Association. Eventually, it would be great if, through our fundraising events, we could help sponsor the tuition for all the kids/people that want to go to MPA from all around the world. I want everyone who feels like this kind of education could benefit them to be able to have that experience. It would also be great, if through our efforts, we we're able to help MPA evolve, improve, and sustain itself through the passage of time. I think a spiritual education will always be valuable and should always be accessible. To me, MPA Alumni are the best group of people to help make that dream a reality. Like I said before, we, (MPA Alumni), are a diverse, determined, creative, and international community. I don't believe that there's anything we can't accomplish if we work together.

Where Are They Now: Dev Amrit Singh ('14)

Dev Amrit Singh receiving a loving squeeze from his sister Sarah

Dev Amrit Singh receiving a loving squeeze from his sister Sarah

I am currently a full-time student at UC San Diego, majoring in Computer Science, specializing in Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a interdisciplinary science in which we collect and analyze complex biological data using computer software and programs. It draws from a healthy mix of computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering. I participate in some academic activities outside of the normal coursework as well. One of these is the undergraduate Bioinformatics club, in which we listen to guest lectures and participate in bioinformatics workshops and competitions. I have also started conducted bioinformatics research which involves using computer software to visualize DNA and protein sequences.

At this point in my academic path, it's hard to think about too much else. However, I enjoy getting to unwind by playing sports when I get the chance. I play intramural basketball and also ultimate frisbee with the UCSD ultimate frisbee club. In the summer, I've been able do some internships in mobile web development. I helped develop a few apps, one being the one being the Yogi Bhajan Library Of Teachings android app. Life has certainly been busy, but also steady and positive.

One piece of advice I would give current MPA students, especially seniors, is to think about what matters to you, why it matters to you, and also about what you want to do once you leave MPA. The MPA schedule is by no means easy, but it is laid out for you - as long as you put in the effort, you are bound to be successful and get something out of it. In my experience at MPA, we develop an incredibly valuable and useful skill set, but learning to look at big-picture goals and create long-term plans are also extremely important. When I left MPA, I went on to college because it seemed like the next logical, safe step, but I didn’t really think about why I might want to or what I would want to get out of college. I think doing some personal introspection or having some conversations with close friends and family about life after MPA and what really matters to you can really make you feel more confident that whatever you decide to do, you’ll be doing it because you actually want to and because it’s something worth doing.

Sanctuary For Spirituality Art Exhibition Announcement: Meet the Curators and Last Call for Submissions

As the days go by, we're getting more and more excited about our Sanctuary For Spirituality Art Exhibition coming to freSH Gallery in Santa Fe, NM this June 6th-26th. We've received inspiring submissions of artwork from a variety of fantastic artists thus far and we're still looking for more! If you make spiritual artwork of any medium and you'd like to participate in this exciting event, please use this link and make a submission! It's free to apply for all MPA, GRD, and GNFC alumni and only $25 for everyone else! Today, April 15th, is the last day to submit.

In addition to organizing this stellar exhibition, we will also be hosting event nights with live music, food, and discussions on spirituality in it's many forms as well as our goals as the MPA Alumni Association, how we can support/shape the future of MPA, and establish a creative and innovative social/business/cultural/collaboration network for MPA Alumni.

Today, we're also proud to announce our Sanctuary For Spirituality curators. These individuals are determined to set standards of inclusivity to honor/celebrate the diversity and the freedom to believe in one’s relationship to their spirit with this exhibition:

Gurudarshan Khalsa (GNFC Attendee @ age 5, 1986) 

Gurudarshan is an artist, teacher, photographer, entrepreneur, publisher, KRI Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a member of the Santa Fe Society of Artists and has been a creative professional for over 20 years. In 2013, she produced a series of healing digital artwork called the "Visual Language of Healing" while recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Initially, the creative process was a cathartic outlet that brought her peace and soothed her being. Later, she discovered that this visual expression was an effective healing method, balancing her brain and whole self. Gurudarshan's artwork combines her upbringing in the Kundalini Yoga tradition with a love of sacred geometry. She takes images from the natural world and transforms them into new worlds ruled by symmetry and balance to remind us that peace and harmony can exist here. 

Gregory Waits - Alumni of San Francisco Art Institute (1980s), Architect, and owner/operator of Waits Studio Works and freSH Gallery Santa Fe

Waits Studio Works engages systems that are intent on the activation on and creation of form through patterns of movement that inform art and architecture. These systems as employed are indeterminate by nature; pliable, open strategies that extend the activity within a given program. This human involvement within a specified place contains for the studio a narrative that marks the site. It is a graph of events in pursuit of form; a hybrid object lent to cinematic framing, slipping between subject and object, art and architecture. Waits seeks to align the user with an intensified experience that maximizes interaction and reforms space, private and public, towards a greater awareness of self, other, community and environment.

Ceila LuzPhotographer/mixed media artist & transplant from Brooklyn, New York

Celia Luz grew up in the Marlboro Projects, just outside Coney Island. She was introduced to art at an early age by her father, an abstract painter. Her influences came from the Marvel Universe and illustration became the hobby that kept her off the streets. At age 9, she won a competition where her artwork was chosen for a group show at the Brooklyn Museum. This was the beginning of a 10-year creative journey that inspires the photography-based mixed media pieces she produces today. Celia Luz begins her creative process with a meditation where she always asks to "never forget the little things." She then goes about her day and photographs with her iPhone or Nikon. Her focus is on a particular time of day, a flower, a moment between people, between people and nature. There is an element of Zen in her work as she is always on the go, yet always freezing time. She then uses color theory and textures to give a painterly aesthetic to create an emotional narrative between the work and the viewer, or the works in relation to one another in a series.  

Shabd Singh Khalsa - Entrepreneur, entertainer, culture consumer, and MPA Graduate ('07)

Dashiell Hock - Cook @ Bollywood Theater (PDX), founder of Cascadia Kulfi, all-around good guy, and MPA Graduate ('14)

 

Where Are They Now: Amitoj Chhabra

Forward by Dashiell Hock, Creative Outreach @ MPA Alumni Association:

For those of you who don't know Amitoj Chhabra, you can get a great idea of who this young man is by looking up the definition for "Work Ethic", that is, "the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward". A serious, (and positive), work ethic is something that Miri Piri Academy promotes as one of our core values. If you spend some time at MPA, it's almost challenging to leave without achieving an impressive work ethic that will support you in every aspect of your life.  As Amitoj explains in this interview, the physical and mental stimulation that MPA provides, in addition to a spiritual and positive community, can serve as inspiration and support to accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Interview w/ Amitoj:

Miri Piri Academy was where I was first inspired to start caring about my body. It's where I began my journey towards wellness (mental, physical, and spiritual) and is where I started to work out. Since then, exercise, (powerlifting especially), has become a huge part of my life. In 2015, I won the United States Powerlifting Association Jr. National Championships. I guess you could say my daily sarban-dandes during my time at MPA led to that title! 🙂

Directly after graduating high school (2013), I started working as a loader at UPS. About a year and half later, I was promoted to management. In December 2016, OnTrac, (a regional package delivery company), gave me an offer and opportunity that I couldn't refuse. I now work as a PM manager for OnTrac, one of the youngest managers company-wide. I never thought I'd be so proud to work for a logistics company and I'm really excited to be part of it's upward growth!

Community service is something that I value greatly in my life. Currently, I donate monthly to the Humane Society as well as this organization, Ensaaf. Ensaaf is a nonprofit organization working to end impunity and achieve justice for mass state crimes in India, with a focus on Punjab and the victims of Operation Blue Star in 1984. I also run an online powerlifting coaching service, Barbell Akhada. One of the goals of this service is to sponsor Sikh athletes by offering them strength programming and nutritional advice free of charge. Training and discipline have had a very positive influence in both my personal and work life and I love helping other people become the strongest version of themselves. 

I personally don't believe that I'd be half the person I am now had I not gone to MPA. There were so many amazing individuals around me all the time which really inspired me to try and become the best version of myself; physically, mentally, and spiritually.

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If you're an MPA, GRD, or GNFC Alum and have a service project that you're involved in, (whether it be you're own or an organization that you work with), and would be interested in receiving financial sponsorship from the MPA Alumni Association, please check out our Community Service Support Project and get in touch with us!

Where Are They Now: Leon Levi ('14)

Levi ('14) shares some powerful and personal reflections of self:

I’ve made a lot of subtle personal accomplishments recently as steps towards feeling completely secure and at ease within my own self. I try to conquer the things I fear. Where there is fear, there is room to grow. When I "feared" dancing, I took dance classes and now dancing is one of my main hobbies along with rapping, composing/producing, and playing soccer. Transforming something that has previously filled you with anxiety into something that fills you with joy is an incredible thing.

I recently began working towards a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. This study has sparked a lot of thoughts about risk, responsibility, and reward in my mind. Some people see an opportunity in every risk and others see a risk in every opportunity. I always try to see the opportunity in every risk and take responsibility for each of my actions. No risk, no reward. 

Where Are They Now: Joshua Regier ('15)

Left to Right: Joshua (Yoshi), Ambroise, Diego, definitely not messing around, circa 2015.

Left to Right: Joshua (Yoshi), Ambroise, Diego, definitely not messing around, circa 2015.

I’m currently training as an Electronics Technician at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. It feels great to use some of the stuff you learned at school in real-life! In addition to my job at the airport, I also volunteer as a firefighter and paramedic. In my opinion, volunteering is a lot of fun and a great way to help people in need.

When I look back at my time in India, I really wish that I had participated more in the program. At the time, I really just wanted to finish high school. Looking back, I realize that I learned a lot of  valuable things at MPA besides academics.

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If you are an MPA Alum and have a service/volunteer project that you would like to share or help organize funding for, the MPA Alumni Association would love to help! We'll donate $100 to your goal and help promote your fundraiser. Email dash@mpaalumni.org or shabd@mpaalumni.org to learn more!

Where Are They Now: Sid Khalsa

Left to right: Sid holding a new soul, Amanda Palmer, and Justine the radical french nanny.

Left to right: Sid holding a new soul, Amanda Palmer, and Justine the radical french nanny.

I am currently working two jobs as well as the occasional odd job making jewelry or
catering. My main job is managing the bookstore and author events at the Jean Cocteau
Cinema in Santa Fe where I have been for nearly 3 years. My second job is as a baker at
a local cafe/general store called Modern General. I fell in love with food as a child but
baking has been my passion since before I can remember. I work nearly 7 days a week, but when I am lucky enough to find some free time I bead, sew, and of course, I bake!

During this past year I moved to Woodstock, NY to work as Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer’s personal chef/Amanda’s Wonderhelper for her ‘You Got Me Singing’ tour and the Dresden Dolls reunion tour. It was a truly amazing experience that I am very fortunate to have had, especially because the Dresden Dolls are one of my favorite bands of all time. When the tours ended, I traveled to Vienna for a month and completely fell in love with the city. I'm hoping to move there in the not-too-distant (hopefully) future!

Love,
Someone who got caught ditching

WhereAreTheyNow: Ambroise Centelles ('15)

After graduating MPA I was really excited to go straight into university. I usually study Communication and Global Studies in Nottingham, England, but this semester I'm in Antwerp, Belgium as part of an exchange program. I’ve been having loads of fun and meeting a lot of great new people! Outside of school, I like to practice my French, play ukulele, and dance salsas and bachata.

As I spend more time in university, I’m realizing that I’m not really much of an academic person. I get more joy out of helping other people directly than I do studying. For example, I often try sit down with people who seem like they need some emotional support and try to help them work through whatever is on there mind. Depending on the particular moment in someone’s life and the conversation that we’re having, this can take many forms. I’m not sure what you call this exactly, but it feels good to be present with someone and support them when they need it.

This year, I’ve decided to not be as strict with myself in trying to practice all of the 3HO/Kundalini teachings that I've learned to the letter. While I may or may not pick them back up at another point in my life, I recognize that I am always on a spiritual path towards my identity. I fully believe that it’s good to do what feels right whilst just trying to uplift yourself and others around you. Trying to be conscious of yourself, your actions, and how they affect the people around you is what really matters.

If I could share some thoughts with my fellow MPA alumni and future alumni, I would say: In my experience as a student, you may have aspirations and expectations of life after MPA when you start to come towards your graduation, but once you leave the school, it's really not the end of the world. You'll miss the people, miss the buildings, the memories and the atmosphere of being on a similar wavelength as all of your peers, but in life you will find yourself exposed to exciting new environments where you attract people according to the frequency that you're vibrating. Just go with the flow, stay positive, and don't worry too much!

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If you're an MPA Alum like Ambroise and really enjoy helping your fellow humans in any capacity, why not try volunteering in your local community? You can find many community service organizations/projects going on in your area in local publications and word of mouth, but you can also find many online! http://www.createthegood.org/ can be a great place to start as well as searching "Volunteer opportunities near me" on your favorite internet search engine. If you find something you enjoy or just want to brainstorm some ideas, reach out to us at the MPA Alumni Association know and we can help and potentially help fund raise! Just email Dash@mpaalumni.org or Shabd@mpaalumni.org and let's see what we can do :) - Dash

WhereAreTheyNow: Anna Weidlich ('14)

Left to Right: Isi Schild ('14), Emilia Shiva Lietz ('14), Anna Weidlich ('14)

Left to Right: Isi Schild ('14), Emilia Shiva Lietz ('14), Anna Weidlich ('14)

Anna Weidlich (‘14) shares a bit about her life and her experience volunteering with the Syrian refugees in her town:

When I originally returned to Germany after studying at MPA, I spent an additional year in high school and graduated with some of the best marks in my grade. This a great improvement in my academics compared to how they were pre-MPA, so this a significant personal accomplishment for me. I just began my first semester at the University of Heidelberg in Germany where I study Biochemistry. As of now my goal is to get a PhD and do medical research of some kind. 

During the summer, I worked with group of volunteers in my town to help organize aid for the Syrian refugee community. This volunteer group was very simple, just a group of people that wanted to help, not an really official organization. I told them that I wanted to help and they showed me what to do. Apart from donating clothes, furniture, and stuff like that, our volunteer group also spent a lot of time teaching the refugees how to speak German. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep volunteering once the semester started, but I really enjoyed getting to know and help the people in the refugee community. A lot of people here have a negative attitude towards the refugees, so making these types of human connections are really important in helping dissolve that. Since December, our town has put together an official German language course for the refugee community and they now have access to more qualified teachers. :)

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If you are doing some volunteer work/a service project of some sort like Anna, the MPA Alumni Association would like to help fund it! Please contact either Shabd@mpaalumni.org or Dash@mpaalumni.org to find out more! :)

#WhereAreTheyNow: Diego Wallace ('15)

Diego Wallace ('15) stopped by to share a bit about his life as a student San Antonio College and some words of wisdom with the current MPA student body and future MPA Alumni:

I recently stopped working to go to focus on my studies at San Antonio College. It’s been a struggle to try and choose a major, but I’ve finally decided on a great one: Kinesiology. My goal is to become a physical therapist. Kinesiology is something that I’ve had a big interest in after suffering a pretty serious injury before going to MPA. 

Even though I’m focusing on school right now, I still need to make some spending money. Luckily, I live in a part of San Antonio that has a lot of retired people who like to go for vacations often. I usually take care of the neighborhood dogs and cats when their owners go out of town and make pretty good money for it. Also, my girlfriend’s parents own over a hundred of businesses in the US and Mexico and I can usually make a few hundred dollars whenever I work for them. 

I’ve gotten to know all the people in my neighborhood fairly well by caring for their animals and homes while they’re away. I try to lend them a hand in their gardens, cutting branches, or helping carry heavy things when they are home whenever I can. I really enjoy being able to do this because it's a nice thing to do and feels better than hanging out and watching TV.

If I could share some wisdom with my fellow MPA Alumni/’India’ kids, (especially those at the school currently), it would be to keep in mind that even if you're not having the time of your life there, you’ll still miss MPA when you leave. I didn’t enjoy all of my MPA experience, but I still have many great memories. I've made incredible friends, visited many beautiful places, and still remember having a blast while fooling around, covering my whole body in black clothes and scaring my friends while hiding the bushes. There’s not many other places in the world where you can have as much fun as you can within the walls of MPA.

Where Are They Headed: Siri Darshan Singh ('16)

Siri Darshan Singh ('16) has a serious work ethic that propels him through the challenging, time-consuming experience of working while going to university: 

I like to spend my time doing things that will positively influence my identity and add to my character, like increasing my intelligence or making me physically stronger or faster. I usually try to achieve this feeling by playing sports (like soccer), riding my bike, reading books, or going to the gym. Gatka was one of my favorite things at MPA. I feel like Gatka and other martial arts help build your mental, physical, and spiritual strength at the same time.

I recently started studying international business at Universidad Iberoamericana in Puebla, Mexíco. At first I had a hard time adjusting to it because I was a bit out of practice in doing homework and taking notes in class. Now that a semester has passed, I’ve gotten back into the flow of school and it’s not all that difficult for me.

Apart from studying, I also have a part-time job as a sales person at Williams-Sonoma. I mean to stay there for as long as my schedule lets me, (school is of course priority number-one), but I'm really happy there and I feel like I'm getting a lot of experience as a working professional.

Between work and school, there isn’t enough time left in the day for much else, but I feel like the experience will benefit me in many ways. After I graduate, I’d like to travel and work abroad, but I’m not quite sure for what or where yet. My plan for the future is pretty fluid. I had one plan a year and half ago and changed it, then changed it again six months ago, so who knows, maybe in another six months or year I’ll have my sights set on some new horizon! :):):

#WhereAreTheyHeaded

Letter from the General Manager

Sat Nam,

Greetings and thank you for supporting the Miri Piri Academy Alumni Association. Your support has been crucial in the success of our young organization. Since I began work on the MPAAA in 2015, a lot has been achieved. With this letter, I want to share some accomplishments as well as some plans for the next few months and beyond.

The broad goal of the Alumni Association is to connect MPA Alumni for their benefit, the benefit of Miri Piri Academy, and the benefit of the greater community. Students that attend MPA are a core part of the future of our community. Through mentorship, access to opportunities, and further connection amongst each other, we seek to foster Alumni success. We believe that alumni success is community success. If alumni feel connected to the community at large, the community will reap the benefit of alumni ingenuity, leadership, and resources.

We plan to start down this path of fostering success and engagement through mentorship. An MPAAA mentorship program is already underway. Thus far, we have 10 mentor/mentee partnerships. The pairs have begun weekly calls this month where older alumni will act as sounding boards and older siblings to recent graduates as they transition from the unique world of MPA to the university or employment in their home countries. The new graduates’ interests vary widely from mechanical engineering and programming to design and piloting airliners. Older alumni acting as mentors come from classes ranging from 2012 to 1997. As the year passes, we’ll be talking to both mentors and mentees to hear about their progress to share with you.

Another accomplishment has been communication. We have the most up to date alumni contact list ever with over 300 listings and growing. This, along with an active Facebook page that shares the stories and accomplishments of alumni going all the way back to students who attended Guru Nanak Fifth Centenary School, have allowed us fairly broad reach to the MPA Alumni community. Gathering this kind of information will allow us to create a LinkedIn Alumni Page that alumni from all generations will be able to use to make professional connections with each other.

Behind the scenes, we will be filing for our own 501c3 status and populating a board dedicated to the oversight and success of the MPA Alumni Association. Part of our bylaws will make clear our dedication to supporting and working in concert with Miri Piri Academy. A couple of ex-officio members will sit on the MPAAA board including the principal of MPA or an appointee. HarRai Singh from Phoenix, AZ will come on as our CFO when we file for our own incorporation.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your support. Your continued support makes this possible and is an important investment in the future of our community. Be sure to expect some gifts and recognition as a token of our thanks and if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me personally.

We would like to thank Yogi Tea for its recent donation of $10,000. This, along with ongoing contributions from alumni-owned businesses Dahlicious Lassi, Spirit Voyage Music, and Pure Om. We would also like to thank the many alumni and community members that support us with monthly donations including the recent donations given at Khalsa Council. All of these contributions have helped continue the development and management of this organization and are invaluable.

Humbly Yours,

Shabd Singh
General Manager
Miri Piri Academy Alumni Association

shabd@mpaalumni.org