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Upasana Puranik: Inclusivity Mural

Riya Malik
Upasana Puranik’s LOVE mural brightens up Room 214 at Tino’s Wellness Center. Her work on this Eagle Scout service project spreads positivity in the school.

In bright white text and intricately drawn American Sign Language letters, the word LOVE is written across the newest art addition to Tino’s Wellness Center in Room 214. Upasana Puranik, senior and to-be Eagle Scout, spent this year’s summer curating this mural for our school and preparing to achieve the highest ranking in her Boy Scouts of America program.

Scouts BSA, a sub-organization of Boy Scouts, started accepting girls into their troops in 2019 when Puranik joined the organization. Her troop, Troop 582, is one of the largest troops in California, with around 100 members. Throughout the last four and a half years, Puranik has dedicated her free time to being an active member and working her way up seven rankings to Life Scout, the penultimate rank. Her Eagle Project is one of the final steps to achieving the position, signifying that a trooper has completed all the Eagle trials and will uphold the scouting oath and law. 

“Becoming an Eagle Scout is a culmination of my journey […] it showcases what I’ve learned so far, what my troop has given to me and what I can do to give back to my community, troop and younger scouts,” Puranik said. 

The Eagle Project’s purpose is to show a trooper’s leadership and give back to the community, and for Puranik, CHS was the perfect place to do so.

Said Puranik, “I started looking at CHS, a school that has given me a lot, and I wanted to give back to my school for the four years I’ve enjoyed and spent [here].”

Puranik spent the early months of 2023 working out the logistics of her project, ultimately deciding on a mural that would express her message through bright colors and design. 

Once she had organized plans for location, size, materials and design, she organized a group of volunteers to lead the painting process. Puranik’s plan was to create an art piece symbolizing the importance of inclusivity. 

“It’s a big motto for our Cupertino staff and students here to create diversity and a caring and comfortable environment for everyone,” Puranik said, “Last year, I noticed some incidents that didn’t pertain to our school model […] and I wanted to make sure such incidents didn’t occur again.”

With CHS’s values and principles in mind, she executed the project with components symbolizing different communities on campus. 

“Rainbow puzzle pieces are a symbol of autism awareness. Going along with that, the rainbow background signifies Pride and the LGBTQ+ community,” Puranik said, “In the foreground, there are hands of students belonging to different [backgrounds] that spell out in American Sign Language.”

Her various components integrate smoothly on the wooden canvas, creating a cohesive mural representing the unity CHS upholds.

Puranik hopes her mural will remind students about the importance of accepting others’ differences and appreciating diversity. 

“I want students to understand the message of the mural and to be able to learn from mistakes,” Puranik said, “I want [people] to be kinder to each other and bring love to our campus, so we’re able to create a safe and caring space for the students here.”

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Riya Malik
Riya Malik, Copy Editor

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