LIVINGSTON, NJ — At age 16, Anshul Nayar recognized that the Livingston area had a growing population of immigrants from China and India who needed help learning English. Already a volunteer with the West Essex YMCA’s Togetherhood committee, Nayar created an English a second language program that has helped more than 30 people in the past two years.
Nayar was named the West Essex YMCA’s 2017 Youth of the Year at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ annual dinner earlier this month. The West Essex YMCA is one of seven branches of the Metro YMCA.
“Anshul manages to put all the students at ease, and meets each of them at the place they are in their language development,” said West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores.
In her 32 years at the YMCA, Flores said she ranks Nayar as a “top 10” volunteer.
“I have loved the experience of helping other adults who are extremely dedicated and enthusiastic about learning,” said Nayar. “They show up every week, rain or snow. They are happy to see me there, and try to engage with me. This means a lot to me.”
Nayar, 18, helps plan and run the West Essex Y’s annual diversity and inclusion luncheon, which attracts more than 50 participants who share foods and stories about their heritage. He has also done teen mentoring and fundraising for the Y.
At the English as a Second Language program, which is held twice a week at the West Essex YMCA, Nayar works with three volunteer teachers and several high school students who serve as assistants.
Ranked in the top 5 percent of Millburn High School’s senior class, Nayar plans to study economics and political science in college. (He has not yet decided which he will attend.) He lives in Short Hills with his parents and dog Toby, a 3-year-old labradoodle.