Graduates leave goMAD legacy

GoMAD+is+a+nonprofit+organization+started+by+students+in+the+class+of+2013.+GoMAD+raises+money+for+children+in+India+of+whom+are+HIV+positive.+They+raise+money+through+concerts%2C+color+wars%2C+and+selling+tshirts.

Anisha Srivastava

GoMAD is a nonprofit organization started by students in the class of 2013. GoMAD raises money for children in India of whom are HIV positive. They raise money through concerts, color wars, and selling tshirts.

Arun Sethi, Staff Reporter

The legacies left behind by the class of 2013 are many and varied but few rival that of Arjun and Anisha Srivastava.  The brother and sister who will be attending the University of Texas started a charity for children in India with HIV/AIDS.

“GoMad started after we came back from a trip to India, we saw those kids and were inspired to help,” Anisha said.

Although the charity is still young in existence it has surpassed all expectations.

“We first started the organization as a school club in December of 2011 and after getting a lot of support we made it into an official organization on June 12, 2012,” Arjun said.

With the success, Arjun and Anisha wanted to keep the organization a part of the school and the community after they leave, so with their departure in mind, Arjun and Anisha created a goMAD council.

Consisting of Maya Johnson, Steven Johnson, Gracie Barrett with senior Shawna Mattahil as the leader, the goMAD council hopes things stay the same.

“I’m really kind of nervous of how the turnout at events will be after they both leave,” Mattahil said.

Although Mattahil may be nervous, she has already started to plan for next year.

“We plan on having a couple of events next year; World AIDS Day and Holi,” Mattahil said.  “I hope to have their (Arjun and Anisha) help here and there and also recruit more people to the goMAD council. I plan on reaching out of the Lovejoy community to increase attendance at events.”

Mattahil will not be starting cold; she has an idea on what the organization is about and Anisha and Arjun will only be a phone call away.

“They kept me in the loop and involved with the February benefit concert and the color festival so I was able to familiarize myself with the process behind those goMAD events,” Mattahil said.  “Anisha and Arjun will on be in touch with me so I won’t be alone. They will continue to guide Lovejoy students in the goMAD council as they continue the work we have started this year.”

From starting out as a school club to a full-fledged organization, Arjun and Anisha are happy with how goMAd has been perceived at school and they know they have left it in good hands.

“Shawna Mattathil will be leading these students to build on this year’s work and continue to expand goMAD,” Anisha said.  “GoMAD is very important to us and AJ and I feel that we can absolutely trust Shawna to represent goMAD in a great way. She is very driven, hard-working and organized.”

With Arjun and Anisha off to UT, goMAD will extend beyond the Lovejoy community as it will also be known to city of Austin.

“We’re planning on joining with a large organization at UT called Face Aids,” Arjun said.  “This organization is very active at UT Austin and we plan on working with them to host fundraisers and awareness programs.”