India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Chicago hosted an event called GSA (Global Strategic Alliance) India Expo @75 Curtain Lever which will take place on December 22nd.
One of its missions is to recognize the nation’s Indo-American youth for their service to the United States and India. From Arizona to Maryland, 18 young Indian Americans under 18 were chosen to receive awards last week at the first annual 18under18 Indian American Achievers celebration. The GSA Expo held a Youth Empowerment Conclave under the leadership of Dr. Vijay Prabahakar, with students, graduates, adults, seniors, doctors, gemologists and, of course, 18-year-olds and less.
This Conclave was held in a conference room that looked like a United Nations conference room. With that came tons of talk about life experiences and what it means to look to society’s future. Sathya Padmanabhan, a student leader from Phoenix, AZ, moderated the conclave and was also honored as one of the 18under18s at the event.
Four honored panelists participated in the event. Arushi Jain, senior consultant at Thoughtium, gave her advice to young people on what it means to be successful and what it means to adapt to life’s changes. Following him, Mohansrinivas Chennakesavalu gave his opinion on life and encouraged young people to enjoy the world as it is while striving to make an impact. As a medical student at the University of Chicago, he shared some of his experiences as a student and urged young people to always look to the future when making decisions. Swetha Loka, who is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Stony Brook, shed light on adversity and what it means to overcome it. Finally, Zak Khan, a debonair gentleman who is currently a director of Lumen Technologies, shared his perspective on the need to always persevere and seek new insights as they go through the ups and downs, twists, turns and the bumps of life.
Sathya Padmanabhan of Phoenix, Arizona is one of the most influential Indian American student leaders of our time. As secretary of the student wing of the World Federation of Tamils, he urged provision of COVID vaccines to help India during the pandemic, won a Congressional Achievement Medal at the 11th Met Gala of Congress with Congressman Danny Davis and also held talks with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. In fact, Sathya has been recognized by the Federation of Indian Associations for his work, as he received the Youth of the Year trophy for Community Excellence.
Aarya Rajesh from Naperville, Illinois is an ambassador for a nonprofit global sports organization that connects students for scholarship opportunities. He also leads a team of sixteen at his school to conduct groundbreaking advanced photon research at Argonne National Laboratory. He connects people around the world to appreciate athletics and sport for his talent and dedication.
Advaith Srikanth is a black belt in karate and a tabla enthusiast. The tabla is an Indian musical instrument and Advaith has reached milestones with his amazing tabla playing. He has been nationally recognized and he also plays cricket.
Arul Kolla is a mathematical genius who has countless accomplishments. He represented the United States at the International Linguistics Olympiad and pushed his team to win a gold medal. It is also ranked in the top 5% of competitive programming. He likes to spread his joy for math, which is why Arul has also written and published his own book called Taking Aim in which he describes how to approach math creatively and outside the box. He also created a math game called Blocks which was published on Math Playground, receiving 1.5 million plays. He won the International Telugu Spelling Bee and is currently researching linear algebra with a professor from UCLA.
Arushi Kashyap is the pioneer of the plastic bag free campaign in which her non-profit organization ensures that no ocean litter in the form of plastic is seen in her community and beyond. She is also involved in a lot of research and works to promote STEM fields.
Arya Babu is an international pianist who has performed 12 times at Carnegie Hall. She is a co-founder of the Feed the Soul Through Music foundation and has also been recognized in Germany, London, etc. for his talents as a pianist.
Farah Raman is the Youth Ambassador for Eye Level, which is a STEM academy. She is responsible for internal affairs of the Tri-M Honors Society and chair of youth and government in her community.
Karthik Rajaram is an ambassador for the school and an outstanding leader who has dedicated time to make an impact in his own way. Motivated by a slow computer, Karthik created his own startup selling custom PCs to people across the country. As the world advances more and more in technology, Karthik has proven to be making an ever greater difference in society.
Manish Rangan is the creator of UVSET-SAFETouch, a multi-patent pending innovation that aims to eliminate germs from doorknobs and public places. His vision is to create a germ-free society, especially after witnessing the impacts that COVID has brought to our world.
Anirudh Seshadri is the founder of TeenAiders who volunteered to create huge learning programs for villages in India. It has been recognized worldwide for its impact
Pinakin Kale worked as a youth and government legislator and was selected by the Rotary Club to participate in a selective leadership program. He also taught high school computer science. Riya Kapoor is the recipient of the Subden Cardiac Death Awareness Research Foundation (SCDARF) Scientific Symposium. She has tons of leadership experience as she works hard to advance her school’s mission at Lake Forest Academy, and she has also been appointed Director of the SCDARF Public Relations Council.
Rohit Sharma is a financial mastermind and has published a book on financial advice for teens. Her book aims to give advice to teenagers on how to manage their finances throughout life.
Sachi Singh is the co-founder of the No Plastic Bags campaign with Arushi Kashyap and has worked hard with local and national organizations to pursue their mission to ensure the oceans are free of plastic residue.
SathvikSankaranarayanan started the Ekam Houston Chapter and raised over $30,000 to help with COVID relief. It has also made progress in health and hygiene and brought clean water to hundreds of families in India. Sathvik is also an incredibly accomplished Mridangam player.
Vedant Shukla is Sewa International’s lead volunteer and has completed over 150 hours of community service. He loves playing golf, tennis and volleyball for his school team and has also organized a $5,000 fund for school and community clubs.
With that in mind, it is only right that these people be recognized for their work in this country. Incidentally, US Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy came from Washington DC just to present the awards to these 18 amazing people.