Judge Ravi K. Sandill Inspires Youth

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By Shravya Prabhu

HOUSTON: The Government/Politics session of YLDP at the Harris County Civil Courthouse last Saturday was very inspiring and was full of takeaways for young people.  Judge Ravi K Sandill, the speaker for this session, is a great example of a Level 5 leader, one that is selfless and committed to reaching his goals, because of the challenges he has overcome to become the only South Asian elected to a countywide office in Harris County.

Judge Sandill’s life parallels that of Darwin E. Smith, chief executive of paper products company Kimberly-Clark.  Just as Smith continued to lead his company when he was told by doctors that he had less than a year to live, Judge Sandill persisted towards his goal even after a two year battle with cancer.  The fact that he was much younger than his opponent, an incumbent of 28 years, did not stop Judge Sandill; he was eventually elected into court, where he is serving as an excellent judge.  The fact that Judge Sandill conquered this challenge, especially after a battle with cancer, shows how strong determination can help us succeed.  His story inspires us to not give up on achieving our goals in the face of advsersity.

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Judge Sandill has also shown that South Asians can overcome race related struggles by understanding and working with others.  When Judge Sandill ran for election, he identified common concerns of his constituents and addressed them.  So, his supporters overlooked his race and voted for him on the basis of his ideas and what he was able to contribute.  In other words, it is about what we know, and how well we can present what we know.  If I am the only South Asian in a room, I now know not to feel out of place because it is just a matter of understanding the issue at hand and confidently expressing oneself.

Lastly, it is also important to consider that Judge Sandill possessed the most important attribute of a Level 5 leader- Humility.  He presented with confidence but without showing excessive pride.  He is open to the ideas of others.  His message to young future leaders is to that determination and passion are enough to ensure success.