Meera Hatangadi is involved with High School Insider and her school's newspaper, "Sword and Shield." She is attending UT Austin in the fall. (Photo provided by Meera Hatangadi)

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From Indian classical dancing to Deaf art history, Meera Hatangadi looks to shed light on underrepresented communities

Meera Hatangadi has had a passion for writing since she was little, but when she entered high school, she said it became clear to her that she wanted to write about real, relevant issues. Through her work with High School Insider and her school’s newspaper, she aims to shed light on underrepresented communities and open…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/frankiiiesmiiith/" target="_self">Frankie Smith</a>

Frankie Smith

July 14, 2022

Meera Hatangadi has had a passion for writing since she was little, but when she entered high school, she said it became clear to her that she wanted to write about real, relevant issues. Through her work with High School Insider and her school’s newspaper, she aims to shed light on underrepresented communities and open up the conversation to different viewpoints.

Born in Arizona, Meera Hatangadi and her family moved to Bangalore, India, when she was three years old. She lived there for 10 years and discovered her love for Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance style. 

In 2016, Hatangadi came back to California where she moved around even more. In the span of four years, she attended three different high schools all in different locations. Although she has moved a lot, Hatangadi said that dance and journalism have always provided some consistency in her life. 

Meera Hatangadi posing at a dance showcase. (Photo courtesy of Meera Hatangadi)

Hatangadi has been dancing the Bharatanatyam style for more than 10 years and uses it as a form of expression. In 2017, she achieved Arangetram: a graduation into solo-performance where dancers have the opportunity to show their years of training. 

“It has instilled different values in me that I feel are very important like discipline, appreciation of my own culture and just gratitude in everything I do to understand who helped me get where I am,” Hatangadi said. 

During all the different moves, Hatangadi said she found journalism as an outlet to make an impact on her community. In her sophomore year, she joined the journalism club at her former school University High School. From then on, she wrote articles and participated in “People’s Profiles,” a school podcast partnered with HSI. She’s also been a member of HS Insider’s Student Advisory Board since 2020.

One of Hatangadi’s favorite stories she worked on with SAB was about Deaf art history, which was a part of a series for Deaf history month. At the time, she said this type of story was completely new to her and it was more of a research project. She was challenged to interview artists, do in-depth research and extensively fact check to make sure her story was an accurate and respectful depiction of this community.

In her junior year at UHS, she joined her school’s newspaper Sword and Shield, where she wrote in the feature column. 

“I like feature writing a lot because I’m able to showcase more underrepresented stories … or display aspects of different cultures that have not been displayed before,” she said. 

Hatangadi will attend University of Texas at Austin in the fall. She plans on majoring in communication studies with a concentration in corporate communication. 

“In terms of my dream job, I really want to work in the UN,” Hatangadi said. 

Whether that goal remains the same or not, she said she hopes to give back to her community and make the world a better place. 

“I see her connect [with her community] by joining clubs that helped people with supplies during the beginning of the pandemic and spreading awareness with her articles,” her sister Priya Hatangadi said.

Throughout the High School Insider internship, Meera Hatangadi is excited to collaborate with other interns in order to understand different ways of approaching journalism. She hopes to get involved with unexplored aspects of journalism such as videography, photography and podcasting. She also mentioned her excitement to learn from professionals that can teach her what the industry is like and how to make her articles have a broader impact. 

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