Srikishen named Presidential Scholar
By By Mitch Freeman Madison County Record
Neel B. Srikishen, a 2003 Bob Jones High School graduate, will go to Washington D.C. in June to be honored as a Presidential Scholar.
Srikishen is the 17-year-old son of B.N. and Jayanthi Srikishen of Madison.
Srikishen was invited to apply for the presidential scholar award based partially on his ACT and SAT scores. Srikishen scored 35 of 36 possible points on the ACT test.
"Math and science is what I'm good at," Srikishen said. "I didn't study at all for any of these tests. I pay attention in class."
Other factors influenced the invitation for Srikishen to apply for the award. His resume does not look like that of a teenager, who celebrated his 17th birthday just after high school graduation.
He graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and was ranked ninth in his graduating class of 482 students. Since the ninth grade, he has taken some 20 advanced placement and honors classes. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club and he was a member on science and math competition teams.
He has been a Boy Scout for seven years and he does volunteer work at Huntsville Hospital and the Downtown Rescue Mission. He also is first violinist in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Huntsville.
Rice University in Houston, Texas is Srikishen's choice of higher education. Srikishen said he plans to major in biomedical engineering and plans to continue on to medical school.
A career as an orthopedic surgeon is what he has his eye on at this point in time.
He decided on biomedical engineering as a major because his parents are both engineers and he wanted to follow that path. His father is a mechanical engineer and his mother is a computer scientist/engineer.
He understands the difficulties in getting accepted to medical school and hasn't decided where he would like to go.
"I'll be very happy to get in anywhere," Srikishen said.
Srikishen grew up in south Huntsville, expecting to attend Grissom High School. However, his family moved to Madison, resulting in a transfer to Bob Jones High School.
Although Srikishen was hesitant to pick an especially influential teacher, he attributed at least some of his academic success to David White.
"All my teachers know their subjects very well. It's been so much fun," Srikishen said. White was his ninth grade homeroom teacher at Bob Jones, as well as his advanced chemistry teacher. White is also the sponsor of the school's Scholar Bowl team, on which Srikishen was a member and captain.
"From the first day in the ninth grade through his senior year, I saw him almost every day," White said. "He is arguably the best Scholar Bowl player in the state and he excels in everything he tries."
White said Srikishen is well deserving of the Presidential Scholar honor.
Sirkishen will join around 120 presidential scholars from across the U.S. during national recognition week in an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. June 21-26. The White House will sponsor a ceremony where the scholars will be given a medallion to commemorate their achievements by the President of the United States or his designee.
Srikishen had the option to choose one teacher to accompany him on the trip to Washington. He chose White.
"I'm thrilled to death about it," White said.