NEWS: Sastry Earns Class Of 2016 Valedictorian Honors
By Valeria Araujo – News Editor
There’s no second guessing as to who Jonathan Law’s valedictorian is this year.
Amita Sastry has earned the title of valedictorian for the graduating Class of 2016. She has worked extremely hard to achieve this honor and is excited for the future ahead of her.
“I’m really proud of myself for achieving this goal because it was a goal I had since freshman year,” Sastry said. “My sister was the salutatorian and since then I wanted to follow in her footsteps but maybe go a little bit further and become valedictorian. It’s really nice to know that all of my hard work paid off and that if you worked towards a goal you can really achieve it.”
Sastry will be attending Brown University. She was accepted into the school’s medical education program which guarantees admission to their medical school, Warner Albertus, after she finishes her four years of undergraduate school. In college, she will be studying neurology and neuroscience and her hope is that after eight years she is going to become a neurologist at a hospital.
“She is truly a remarkable person because she always gives it her all,” Law principal Fran Thompson said. “I’m very proud of her and she truly deserves to be valedictorian.”
Sastry said that she took many steps throughout her high school career that brought her where she is today.
“The first step was taking courses that really challenged me,” Sastry said. “It wasn’t just taking classes that would be easy and that I would get the grade. It was more about challenging myself in courses I knew would be hard and that I would put forth my best effort and actually learn the material. Also, by having great teachers who supported me and being able to go to them whenever I needed help assisted me in getting good grades which brought me here.”
Sastry believes that education is an important part of becoming the best version of yourself.
“I think it really important (to work hard in school) not only to get into a good college but for yourself as well to challenge yourself and to push yourself to your greatest abilities,” Sastry said. “Don’t sell yourself short. You never know what you can achieve by working hard. This way you can keep moving forward in not only school but in life as well.”
Sastry lettered in three sports (cross country, indoor track, and tennis) and was an active member of the National Honor Society, Science Club, and STEM Club.
Science teacher Ms. Turcotte recalled some of her fondest memories with Sastry.
“I don’t know how I could pick one memory because it was a couple of years of getting to know her and she’s just such an amazing girl,” Turcotte said. “But I’d probably say that all of us (in the Science Club) driving up to MIT for a competition through a crazy snowstorm was one of my favorite memories because we ended up doing so well in the competition.”
Last year, Sastry tarted working in a lab on the Yale University campus and also worked as a math tutor at Mathnasium. She also volunteers at Milford Hospital and previously has volunteered at the Milford Library and the YMCA.
Sastry admits that at times it was tough for her to budget her time but also explained how she overcame this roadblock.
“I noticed in the beginning I was trying to do everything and put my time into everything,” Sastry said. “It was getting to be a lot so I cut down on the amount I was doing and narrowed it down to a few activities and focused on doing them really well.”
The Law community has proven to be a place of many fond memories for Sastry and for those closest to her.
“It was Christmas time our freshman year and we were all opening presents together,” senior Saniya Mumtaz said. “I realized what a great person she was, how fun she is to be around, and that she’s the type of person I want to be friends with forever.”
Sastry said that she is going to miss high school, but said she leaves with so many fond memories.
“All of my classes have been memorable because all of my teachers were so nice and funny and kept everything light and humorous,” Sastry said. “Also, having a lot of my friends in all of my classes has been really nice and I really felt like it was home, like a family.”