College sweethearts, Subha and Shree Ghoshal met at UC Berkeley. Shree was a freshman and Subha was a sophomore. Shree says she was drawn to what they had in common and what they didn’t. “I knew he was the one when I learned how our similarities made us very compatible and our differences made us more complete. Subha loves animals and nature just like me. He also loves to try different kinds of international foods. He is a fearless adventurer who loves to explore and try new things. He is also extremely calm and a deep thinker. These are attributes that I was very drawn to.”
The couple were married in 1999, shortly after they graduated from college. Before having children, they loved taking risks and finding adventure, but one of their excursions led to a scary situation. “We used to love taking off for the weekends with no plans of specific destinations,” says Subha. “We’d take our dogs and wander off to wherever we felt we wanted to go at the moment. One weekend, we ended up getting lost in the heart of the Mendocino Forest with our dogs. We had to pitch a tent somewhere in the forest for the night in the dark. When we awoke the next morning, we found a sign that said ‘No Camping’. We were lost for a full day and ended up navigating out of it. It was very scary, but somehow we were able to find our way out by sunset the next day.”
Subha was born in Calcultta, India and raised right here in Blackhawk on Cottonwood Court. He graduated from Monte Vista High School and hoped that his children would one day attend the same high school. Subha says from a young age, he was drawn to tech. “I have been intrigued by the tech industry since high school. I am an avid gamer and began developing games at a young age. I have enjoyed taking part in several Silicon Valley startups and now enjoy leading engineering teams for Workday, which allows me to work close to home.”
Shree was born in Oakland and earned two degrees from UC Berkeley in Engineering and Environmental Sciences. After graduating from college, she joined the tech industry and worked in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years. She recently joined the team at SAP where she leads strategic programs in customer experience. “Working at SAP, so close to home, allows me to have a much better work life balance and take part in more family activities,” says Shree.
The Ghoshals have called the Tri-Valley home since 1999 and moved to Blackhawk seven years ago, after finding their dream home on Deer Trail Court. “We moved here because we love our home, backyard, and our neighbors. Our neighborhood is diverse and fun. We always enjoy running into our neighbors and catching up on life,” says Shree.
Three daughters complete the Ghoshal family: 17-year-old Amaya, 15-year-old Ariya and 12-year-old Diya. Amaya spends much of her free time working for Learning Outreach, a non-profit the family started to provide educational aid to economically disadvantaged children both globally and locally. She also loves dance, which she has been doing since she was two. Ariya runs cross country and track and is also an amazing artist. She uses different kinds of media including oils, water colors, and acrylics. Diya plays the viola. She practices everyday and loves it.
Charity work is extremely important to the Ghoshal family. Their non-profit organization, Learning Outreach, provides tutoring, mentoring, and fundraising to purchase necessary educational supplies. “The goal is to help close the learning gap for economically disadvantaged and minority students, so they can further their education and accomplish their educational goals. We set up the charity for our girls to get involved in philanthropic projects around enabling better quality of education. Amaya focuses on academics, actively fundraising and bringing supplies into impoverished communities around Africa, South America, as well as locally in homeless shelters. Ariya focuses on art education and has brought in art supplies and taught basic art classes to economically disadvantaged students,” shares Shree. Learning Outreach has enhanced the education of disadvantaged students in the most poverty stricken areas of Nairobi, Kenya, Guatemala and South Africa. “Altruism is an integral part of the way we raise our children. Subha and I believe it is very important for our girls to see and experience different walks of life and understand challenges from other perspectives. For this reason our family vacations have transformed to always include visiting communities that have great need for educational supplies,” adds Shree.
Two energetic dogs round out the Ghoshal family. A Weimaraner named Pascal Von Platinum who is known to climb on the kitchen counter, pull a banana off a banana bunch, peel the banana, eat the banana, and leave peels around the house. Pippy is a mixed Jack Russel who was rescued from the local shelter. She loves big dogs and insists on going to the big dog section of dog parks with her baby brother Pascal.
Adventure is always a top priority for the Ghoshals. Shree shares one of their recent thrills, “Recently we went to Costa Rica and drove ATVs. We rode through rivers, down steep hills, uphill trenches and crossed narrow valleys. We became advanced riders after that. There are no zoos in Costa Rica, but there are several wildlife rescue centers, and we were fortunate enough to volunteer for a day. We saw so many different animals, and together with our kids, we made lunch meals for the animals. It was an amazing experience that we highly recommend.”
Subha and Shree say they raise their children with a core foundational belief: “Each of our three girls are so different and unique and we want them to always love themselves first and foremost, and to always be authentic. We tell them, ‘Your only purpose is to be yourself’ and to ‘cherish and enjoy each moment’. We often forget how beautiful and interesting life can be with the many people, animals and natural phenomena that are here around us, unless we really tune in and lean in.”
By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
Photographer: Indigo Moments Photography