Shruti Patel is anything but average. Her grades prove it. The Olympic High School of Biotechnology, Health and Public Administration student has never earned a grade less than an A. She holds a 5.0 grade-point average.
“I feel like it has never been an option to get a ‘B.’ I think it is more expected for me to get As,” said Shruti. “Ever since I was little, I have been determined to get into a good college.”
As a freshman, she had her doubts about high academic success. She never thought she would earn the spot as valedictorian, but she was wrong.
“I decided to take more vigorous courses my senior year,” said Shruti, who will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It wasn’t a time to relax.”
Shruti used most of her time doing homework and studying at least three hours every day. Her routine is disciplined. It only allowed her to read one book or watch one TV show a day – her guilty pleasure, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Aside from those enjoyments, Shruti also practiced and performed classical Indian dances for 10 years as part of a local dance group.
“My motivation comes from within, but if I ever get distracted my parents get me back on track,” said Shruti. “Since I took six Advanced Placement classes this year, I just created a schedule and set goals each week. Staying organized helps me stay on point with everything.”
When Shruti finally puts the textbooks away this summer, she will head to Jamaica for 10 days with the SeaVibe Club. SeaVibe is a school club that partners with Catawba Riverkeepers and the SeaVibe Foundation. Club members study the need for protections and enhancements of the water quality of the Catawba River, its lakes in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, tributaries, and watershed so that the river may sustain human and wildlife populations. While in Jamaica, members will collect data, study nitrates and phosphates and work with local residents to help improve the country’s water quality.