Mehul is a 20-year-old college student with dual-enrollment at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. He was selected as a Robertson Scholar in 2014. While living at Cornerstone, Mehul learned to love delicious South Indian food. Cornerstone Children’s Home exudes a special brand of magnetism – one I have never before felt. It is a magnetism that draws the corners of your mouth into an unabashed smile for hours at a time. It is a magnetism that connects you to each child immediately with high-fives and secret handshakes and a cheerful “Hello, brother!” no matter the time of day or night. It is a magnetism that pulled me in the second I arrived, and one that I have held on to long after heading back home.Any travel-induced weariness I may have had melted away instantly after seeing 82 children gathered for a welcoming ceremony upon my arrival.

Adorned with a beautiful flower garland, I was led into the main room by a host of kids stifling excited smiles to keep from giving away the coming surprises. They put on an amazing talent show reenacting picture-perfect renditions of the choreographed dances to famous Tamil film songs. I was even more blown away by the overwhelming sense of compassion, family, and togetherness in the home. Children here care for each other like brothers and sisters, and constantly express gratitude to all the caregivers.

I arrived at Cornerstone as an Ambassador for The Miracle Foundation, with an aim to do anything I possibly could to help. My days at the home were extremely fulfilling. I taught spoken English to the children before and after school and helped them create and organize a library. Watching the children flip through the books, their eyes beaming with curiosity, was extremely gratifying. When the children went to school, I spent my days helping set up computers and conducting research on effective methods to develop and implement a computer literacy program. While at Cornerstone, I helped The Miracle Foundation create a computer literacy program which will be implemented across all the children’s homes they support – giving these brilliant, inquisitive children access to world-class technology and effective educational programs. I can’t think of more deserving kids.