Student Spotlight: Pranav Katakam

Helping the community, one opportunity at a time


Eugene Bang , Reporter

It’s a cold Friday night, two days before Halloween. Pranav Katakam, along with a few others, pass candy out to a bunch of little kids in a small trick or treat drive-thru event. This specific Halloween event is joined with the many other events that the Helping Hands of Urbana club has provided. For those who don’t know, Helping Hands of Urbana is a student-led organization within the school that contributes various volunteering opportunities to Urbana students; past opportunities have included  volunteering at the Frederick Rescue Mission,Regional Science Olympiad Judging, Bring a Broom Event, tutoring, and many more . With over 100 current members, it’s clear to say that Helping Hands is making its impact on both the school and the community. And Pranav, currently a senior, happens to be the president of it. 

As a curious and adventurous freshman, Helping Hands was the first club that Pranav joined. “I originally joined it as just a volunteer, and by Junior year, I became president of the club” he says. Just an FYI, the student led club had already been a thing for years prior, but Pranav’s main contribution when taking it over was how effective he was in innovating it. “When I first became president, my main focus was to bring new opportunities, yet after seeing how diverse the members in the club were, my attention shifted towards providing a platform for all the members of the club to be able to interact with each other,” says the senior. During club meetings, Pranav likes to play group games, talk with other students, and provide an open space for everyone to mingle. Pranav stated that the past leadership didn’t really have much social interaction with all the club members: something he knew that he’d have to change.

Pranav hopes for the club to still have a dominant presence within the school for years to come. He specifically wants to make sure that it “still has a huge following while continuing to provide creative and engaging volunteering opportunities”. While he’s currently not sure what college he’s going to attend, Pranav intends on getting a degree in Business and pursuing a career relating to that as well.