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CIE Speakers: Harry Bhandari and Dr. Clarence Lam

In the final Upper School assembly of the school year on Thursday, May 18, Dr. Clarence Lam, a state senator representing District 12 (Howard and Anne Arundel Counties) in the Maryland General Assembly, spoke to students to honor Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month. Lam is the only Asian American legislator in the Senate of Maryland.

Lam shared about his journey into politics — beginning when he got “strong encouragement” from his parents to go into pre-med in college. He did take all the pre-med classes but he also took political science courses and found them interesting, too. On his path to becoming a physician, he continued to be passionate about politics but never imagined being an elected public servant himself. However, eventually, he did run for office. And after spending 18 months knocking on 20,000 doors to meet his future constituents, he was elected to represent Maryland's 12th Legislative District in 2014.

“Looking back, you should never sell yourself short,” he said. “Try everything at least once — there is always value in trying.”

On the same day, Middle School students heard from House of Delegates member Harry Bhandari, who serves in District 8 of Baltimore County. The next day, Bhandari posted on Instagram:

“Just as a beacon of light guides ships through stormy waters, education illuminates our path and empowers us to navigate our challenges. Yesterday, I had the privilege of standing before the students at Gilman School, celebrating diversity and sharing my life journey. It was a humbling experience to highlight the significance of education and the transformative power of giving back to our community. I am expressing my sincere appreciation to Gilman School for providing me with this platform.

At Gilman, I witnessed a community dedicated to nurturing young minds and fostering inclusivity. Through our educational institutions, we can instill in our students the values of knowledge, empathy, and civic engagement. Together, let us continue to kindle the fires of wisdom and compassion in our students, for they possess the potential to shape a brighter future for all. Thank you, Gilman School, for your commitment to education and community engagement.”


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