Navya Tripathy Named US Presidential Fellowship Semi-Finalist
For the 10th time in 11 years, an Alachua County public school student has been named a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the most selective and prestigious recognition programs for high school students.
Navya Tripathi, a senior at Buchholz High School, is one of 620 semifinalists nationwide, including 27 from Florida. She was invited to apply for the program based on her high scores in the college entrance exam. She then had to go through a rigorous application process by submitting answers to several in-depth essay questions, self-assessments, details of her extracurricular activities and university transcripts.
Tripathi said it was an eye-opening experience.
“It really gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and where you come from,” Tripathi said. “It was so interesting to think more about the things I do and why I love them.”
Tripathi has a solid extracurricular resume to go along with her academic record. At school, she is involved in several clubs and holds leadership positions. She is vice-president of CoderGirls, a club that introduces young girls to coding and participates in computer competitions. She is also vice president of the North Florida chapter of Elevate the Future, which has chapters around the world aimed at increasing access to business and computing. As a member of Buchholz’s award-winning math team, Tripathi has volunteered hundreds of hours teaching math to young students over the summer. Overall, she has accumulated over 750 hours of community service during her high school career.
Outside of school, Tripathi has conducted extensive research on public health, the drug epidemic and COVID-19, with a particular focus on using GIS (Geographic Information System) to track trends. . She has presented her research at several international conferences and her work on the overlap of deaths from COVID and drug overdoses has been published in a professional journal.
Tripathi has been accepted to Duke University and plans to pursue a career in medicine, likely with a focus on public health.
“These are my true passions, and that has been consistent throughout my life,” Tripathi said. “Over the years, I have discovered different ways to deepen my knowledge of health care and public health, and it has been very interesting. I am always looking for new ideas and new perspectives.
According to information from the United States Department of Education, the United States Presidential Scholars Program was established nearly 60 years ago “to recognize the nation’s most distinguished graduates for achievement in academics, leadership and service to the school and the community”.
The Presidential Scholars Commission, made up of approximately 30 presidential appointees, will select finalists, with scholars to be announced in mid-May.