Harsh Patolia, a 2012 valedictorian of Hidden Valley High School and also a graduate of Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, was recently awarded the India Heritage Society Merit Scholarship for high school seniors of 2012. Throughout the high school years, Harsh received many awards at local and state levels, and was selected for all expenses paid prestigious programs such as the National Youth Science Camp and the Virginia Tech Summer Internship.
Each year, students from around the United States and across the world compete to attend the National Youth Science Camp. Selected participants have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, leadership in school and community activities, and a genuine interest in the sciences. Delegates attend the NYSC the summer after they graduate from high school (exceptions are made for international participants); there is no charge for the program, including transportation. Patolia is one of the two graduating seniors selected by the governor of Virginia to act as a delegate from our state for 2012 to the NYSC. Also, he was accepted into the Virginia Tech Summer Internship program sponsored by the Dr. Carla Finkielstein Lab and participated in the cancer/molecular biological research for three weeks. This was followed by a three-week visit in the summer of 2011 through a student exchange program with the Otto Krause Technical School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to study chemistry and Rioplatense Spanish.
He served as president of the Spanish Club/Spanish Honor Society and the National History Club, and he also was captain of the academic team. Harsh was also a correspondent for The Edge, the teen section of The Roanoke Times. He is a volunteer EMT-Basic with the Cave Spring Rescue Squad. He has studied piano for 11 years and since freshman year he has played saxophone in the marching and jazz bands and has loved absolutely every second of it. This year he even had the opportunity to be both a section leader as well as band president.
Patolia, son of Dr. Harsukh and Shila Patolia, would like to especially thank his parents and sister Soni for everything they have done and support they have given. Patolia will be attending Wake Forest University in the fall with the Joseph G. Gordon Scholarship and hopes to study physics, mathematics, and potentially music with the intent of becoming a doctor.
India Heritage Society is a nonprofit organization in the Roanoke Valley, which promotes India’s heritage, traditional values and teachings of religious philosophy. This is the third year of this $1,000 annual award, instituted to encourage college education and to recognize a meritorious high school graduate in the community. The winner of this award is selected by a committee that follows an extensive procedure and evaluates all applicants on nine parameters, including overall grade-point average, SAT score, evidence of altruism, and certificates and awards, just to name a few. The society congratulates all the high school graduates and extends its best wishes in their future educational endeavors.
– Submitted by Shyam Shahane, Board of Trustees chairman, India Heritage Society