Judge R .K. Sandill Addresses YLDP Class of 2016


By Shalini Lakshmi

HOUSTON: On Saturday, February 13, YLDP held a session with Judge Ravi K. Sandill at the Houston Civil Court House. Judge Sandill is a judge at the 127th District Court and is first South Asian to be elected into the district court bench in Texas. Judge Sandill had overcome obstacles of all kinds and from him we had the opportunity to learn the importance of positivity, perseverance, resiliency, risk taking, and good decision making.

In his life Judge Sandill has overcome many cultural and physical barriers. Three months after he began to practice law, Sandill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite his cancer, Judge Sandill did not let his illness stop him from pursuing his dreams. He took a leap of faith when he was asked to run for elected office. The fact that he was much younger than his opponent, an incumbent of 28 years,  and had been suffering from cancer for over 2 years did not stop Judge Sandill’s  perseverance paid off when he became elected the judge of the 127th District Court in 2008. Through this, Sandill has shown that South Asians can overcome obstacles relating to race by working with others and empathizing with the struggles others face. When Sandill ran, he was able to get support because he brought innovative ideas that helped to contribute to the community.

On a personal level, Sandill continued to move forward in his life, despite his illness, by adopting his son Asher from Guatemala. He not only found the strength to continue onward for himself but also for his new son.

Sandill’s will to progress and not give up despite his struggles really has shown us the value of hard work and resilience. It is so easy to let the world swallow us up and let ourselves become slaves to the obstacles we face.  The fact that Judge Sandill overcame so many obstacles like cancer showed me that with grit and determination all things are possible. His story inspired me and all the other YLDP students to not give up on our dreams and turn challenges into opportunities. In the end, we will all become better people by not succumbing to adversity and bouncing back from setbacks.