Rasshika G of Shrewsbury
The Grand Knowledge Exchange

For my Gold Award, I aimed to create “The Grand Knowledge Exchange”, a school-wide book exchange and online forum.  Due to logistical issues and internet privacy concerns  my project was turned down. So, I approached the administrations of several inner-city schools who all shared a common concern: lack of standardized test preparation books. To address this gap, I got support from community leaders, friends and family, local businesses, and wholesale book dealers. I collected test preparation books and created a website on which I hosted a student forum and book database. The project became a huge success; I donated over 300 books to the schools. I felt an immense sense of satisfaction, one only multiplied when I received the first forum message.

Overcoming obstacles in my path to the Gold Award only made it more special and helped me recognize that obstacles are often opportunities in disguise. By transforming my project from one limited to my school to one that addressed the entire state, with the potential to continue growth, I learnt about not only myself, but also my community.  My project has secured permanent placement on the National Honor Society’s agenda.

Raashika is a 2012 graduate of the Advanced Math and Science Academy. She will continue her education in the Leadership in Medicine Program at Union College before attending Albany Medical College to major in Neuroscience and Philosophy. She is a Bharatanatyam dancer, a second-degree black belt and assistant instructor in Kenryu-Kenpo Karate, a volunteer at the UMass Memorial Hospital, a recipient of community service scholarships, a published artist and writer, a Regular Member of the Society for Neuroscience, a research intern at UMass Medical School, a certified ski instructor and member of Ski Ward Race Team, and founder and editor-in-chief of The AMSA Voice, her school’s student newspaper.