Sri: The Technology Student Association has been an interesting journey for me. It was a conduit for me to develop leadership skills.
Sai: Through the TSA experience, (I've seen) there's a reason why diversity is important, not necessarily racial or gender diversity but diversity of thoughts and ideas. TSA has given me an appreciation for the diversity of ideas I've seen there. I feel so blessed to be exposed to these different perspectives.
Q: So what were you asked to do at the national conference?
Sri: My projects were extemporaneous speech and debate. You're given a speech topic and five minutes later you have to talk.
Q: What were your topics?
Sri: Three lessons I've learned from the TSA experience. My top lessons from TSA weren't normal lessons but they've had such an impact on my life it was really fun to talk about.
Q: Could you summarize those?
Sri: The top three things were a love of coffee, I had to stay up pretty much every night for national and state conferences to work on projects; the ability to learn from failure; and a good sense of humor. When things go wrong, it's your sense of humor that lets you look on the good side of things.
Q: What would you like to pursue in college?
Sai: Economics and public policy, but I really want to focus my career in education. With that economics degree I would understand public policy a little better. My parents have raised me to value my education. I value my education and I think if efforts were put in the right place, we could make strides in this field.
Q: What would you do differently in education?
Sai: Standardized testing. You need to pass this test. Only then will you be considered on par for an education system. It's a noble goal to have everyone on the same level, but it forces the student to value a certain score over their passion. I truly believe passion in what they do is the most important thing that a person can have.
Q: What's your favorite part of school?
Sai: I take a rigorous course load because I'm genuinely interested. AP macroeconomics, a couple of us fought for that course to be offered. It's the educational opportunity that I'm being offered that really makes it a great experience.
Q: What other courses are you taking this year?
Sai: AP chemistry, AP statistics, AP US Government/Political Science, University of Washington English, and 4th year German, independent study.
Q: Sri, I know you're taking a full workload of AP courses, could you tell me what they are?
Sri: My senior schedule consists of AP Chemistry, AP Biology, University of Washington English Humanities, AP Statistics, AP Government, AP Economics, and a self-study of advanced French.
Q: Sri, what's your GPA?
Q: What colleges are you interested in attending?
Sri: My college applications haven't been submitted yet, but maybe Princeton or the University of Pennsylvania. Those are my dream schools pretty much. I've been excited about them for a long time.
Q: Sai, since I asked your brother, so I have to ask you, too. What's your GPA?
Q: And what schools are you interested in applying to?
Sai: I'm a little apprehensive but my early action choice is Stanford University. I'm really interested in their economics program. It would pair me up with an education minor. I also love Yale University.
Q: Sri, what school activities are you involved in?
Sri: I'm involved with the National Honor Society and I mentor and tutor kids. I'm involved in the mock trial team where I'm a prosecuting lawyer. My bother and I are captains of the Knowledge Bowl team and Hi Q.
Q: Sai, how about you?
Sai: The National Honor Society, (tutoring) along with my brother. I've been co-captain of Hi-Q for two years and mock trial competitions -- intimidate the other team by having twin prosecution lawyers. I try to have as much fun as I can in my high school career.
Q: Sai, having a sibling close to you in age can either bring you closer together or fuel competition. How has that worked for you?
Sai: I'd say we're close. The competition part plays in. I think one of the greatest things about having a twin brother is we're constantly pushing ourselves and our desire to push our own limits. Having a reflection of yourself you can see is a great tool to learn from. I see my brother as a great gift. I don't know if he sees me in the same way. I try to learn from him.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; email@example.com.
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