India New England News Announces 20 Under 20 Stars 2015

Aashay Vipin Madhani recentky gave a TED Talk (Photo: Facebook)
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WALTHAM, MA—INDIA New England News, the region’s oldest and largest print, online and video magazine, announced the winners of 20-Under-20 Stars for the year 2015. They were selected on the basis of their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, athletic involvement, entrepreneurship, participation in the community service, volunteerism or skills in writing, arts and music, among other factors.

Here is the list of the 20 stars under 20 in an alphabetical order for the year 2015:

Aashay Vipin Madhani recentky gave a TED Talk (Photo: Facebook)
Aashay Vipin Madhani recentky gave a TED Talk (Photo: Facebook)

Arusha Anupindi

12th grade, Academy for Science and Design, Nashua, NH

Hometown: Nashua, NH

Community service has been the hallmark of Arusha Anupindi from the childhood. She is very passionate about it, and would like to make service as her life motto, esspecially in the area of health care. She has received numerous awards including The President’s Volunteer Service Award, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Nominee by the school, and Youth Ambassador for Akshaya Patra in 2014-2015 school year.

She organized a High School All-Nighter to raise funds for school, volunteers at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and American Red Cross. She is recipient of India Association of New Hampshire Youth Service Award.

Manasi Danke
12th grade, Chelmsford High School
Hometown: North Chelmsford

Manasi Danke is a well-rounded student with excellent leadership skills. She holds second degree black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, is a member of “National Speech and Debate Honor Society” and has been qualified for various state level tournaments as well as National Catholic Speech Tournament. She was recently awarded “Youth Excellence Award” by India Association of Greater Boston. She has been elected as a “State Representative” to represent her high school for year 2015-16.

Manasi takes a great passion and dedication in leading her school’s science team. She formed the “Women of science Team” that participates in the state tournament every year. She loves to mentor Chelmsford’s middle school science team. In addition to her academics interests, Manasi is an ardent music and dance lover. She has won dance competition like “Boston Sargam”. She actively participates in cultural programs arranged by various Indian organizations like IAGB, NEMM, etc. She also choreographs dances for these programs.

Tushar S. Desai
11th grade, Andover High School, Andover, MA

Hometown: Andover, MA

Tushar Desai won the DECA (Principles of Marketing) regionals in 2015. He came 1st in the written portion and third all round in DECA States in the same discipline, and won a $1,000 scholarship from Bay State College. He also attended the Nationals in Orlando. He won the underclassmen award in ‘Excellence in Marketing’ from Andover High.
He is on the Andover High school Tennis team – the team was an MIAA finalist this year. He is an Honor Student at the High School. Tushar volunteers at the Willows Racket and Fitness Club in North Andover where he teaches kids tennis. He also volunteers at Kaleidoscope, a non for profit summer camp in Andover, and at Sutton Hill, a senior Center in North Andover.

Sohaum Kelkar
5th grade, Main Dunstable Elementary School, Nashua NH
Hometown: Nashua, NH

At an young age, Sohaum Kelkar has accomplished a lot: Green-brown belt in Karate (learning Karate since 5 years of age); plays the musical instrument ‘Accordion’ since 5.5 years of age, and wants to become a software engineer.

He won the following prizes at 53rd and 52nd New England Music Festival 2015 and 2014 respectively: 1st place in ‘Accordion Pop Solo up to 10’ category 2015; 2nd place in ‘Pre-Selected Accordion Polka Solo up to 10’ category 2015; 2nd place in ‘Pre-selected Standard Accordion Solo up to 8’ category 2014. He has been a part of the band ‘New England Music Makers’, who have performed 3 times at the Annual New England Music Festival and once at Hudson Public Library. He won 1st prize at Aloha Mind Math Vocabulary Bee 2015 in Grade 4 level.

Mohammed Mizraab Khan
7th grade, Walsh Middle School, Framingham, MA
Hometown: Framingham, MA

Mohammed Mizraab Khan has developed his work as an artist. Being only twelve-years-old, he possesses the skills and techniques that go above and beyond what is expected of him. His art has been featured at the University of New Hampshire for the Holi Festival, Biogen Idec Inc. for the Diwali Festival Celebration and Harvard University for the Diwali Festival Celebration.

Not only is he an incredible artist, but he is also extremely passionate about giving back to his community. Though working hard allows him to feel accomplished, Mohammed finds that giving back to his community is the most rewarding feeling one can have. Over the years, Mohammed has participated in various charities, including: Saheli Boston (a non-profit organization empowering women), EID festivals (taking place at the Islamic Center of Boston), Dunning Elementary School, Brookline Public Library, Newton Free Library, and the Brookline Recreation Department.

Srishti Sunil Lulla
12th grade Weston High School, Weston, MA
Hometown: Weston, MA

When it comes to awards and recognitions, Srishti Sunil Lulla wins it all. A few of them: University Book Awards – Wellesley College Book Award (May 2015); Massachusetts Mathematics League Award : Top 50 Scorer in MA; Teacher-Nominated Member for IDEAS Diversity Conference; and Award of Excellence in MA State Science Olympiad Tournament – 2nd Place Winner in Forensics .

She received AP Scholar with Distinction, which is awarded to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. She was also selected as part of the 6 person team representing Weston at the State Competition for the Massachusetts Math League, and successfully qualified and participated in the New England Competition. In addition, she won Second Prize in TyE Entrepreneurship/Business Plan Competition.

Aashay Vipin Madhani
11th grade, Burlington high school Burlington MA
Hometown: Burlington MA

Aashay Vipin Madhani recentky gave a TED Talk. His speech was uploaded to TED channel that has nearly 2.5 million subscribers. He gave the speech in front of over thousand people, and talked about the neuroscience and psychology of depression and negativity.

Though only a Sophomore, Aashay has already founded three companies. One of which was a BioMedical Device that placed #1 in the 2014 TyE Boston Business Plan Competition. On top of that, Aashay has been an active of member of the BHS Community. He currently serves as the President for the DECA Business Club, VP/Co-Founder of the BHS Ping Pong Club, Class President, BHS Mentership Program, Member of National Honor Society, Student Facilitator for The Ted Ed Club, and as an athlete on the Swimming and Baseball Teams. Aashay has also been studying Martial Arts for over 10 years now, and is a State Level Kickboxing Champion.

Sunaina Mahendrakar
12th grade, Nashua High South School, Nashua, NH
Hometown: Nashua, NH

Sunaina has remarkable and outstanding accomplishments in several fields including academics, artistic figure roller skating, community service, dance and music. She has been awarded Presidents Award for Academic Excellence twice in middle and elementary school. She is top 1% in Nashua High South School. She is presently inducted in National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society.
She is avid Figure Roller skater and has received about 30 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals/awards in Artistic Figure Roller Skating at USA Roller Sports (USARS).

Alisha Mithal
12th grade, Chelmsford High School, Chelmsford, MA
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA

Alisha Mithal has immersed herself in academics. She took all honors courses her freshman and sophomore year. As a junior, she decided to take 6 A.P. courses, the most rigorous course schedule that CHS has to offer. Everyone, including her counselor, was worried as it is very hard to handle such a hefty workload. After a long year of hard work, she earned straight A’s and was awarded the Yale Club Book Award by Yale University.

She is a captain of the Chelmsford Math Team, and highly involved in the Chelmsford Science Organization, where she received first place in numerous competitions. She is also an active participant in student mentoring, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, High School Quiz Show, Key Club, and Yearbook. Over the summer, she continues to learn by taking on-line college level courses and doing an internship. Despite her commitment to academics, she also volunteers at school and local events and finds time to pursue her various other passions including drawing and studio art, playing piano, and karate. As an artist, she has received the Scholastic Art & Writing Award from the Boston Globe and has had her work published.

Sana Nadkarni
9th grade, Austin Preparatory School, Reading, MA
Hometown: Andover, MA

Sana Nadkarni, a young girl from Andover, MA, has a precocious talent for art. Her first solo exhibition was in Boston’s financial district at age 8. Since then she has gone on to design a logo for a multi-specialty group, win numerous awards, be featured in numerous publications and have her art on display at banks, public libraries, law schools universities and be part of the permanent collection of many of the Greater Boston hospitals.

Likely her largest achievement to date, Sana was featured in a Class Act segment by Channel 7 News Boston, which also appears in Channel 7 Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Class Act highlights the next generation trying to improve the community. Most recently, her artwork was accepted for the prestigious IAAC, Indo-American Art Council, Erasing Borders exhibit in New York City. At the age of 9 she became the youngest person ever to have a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts State House.

Hiral Palakurty
4th grade, Symonds Elementary School ,Keene ,New Hempshire 03431
Hometown: Keene ,NH

Hiral Palakurty is the youngest member of the 20 Under 20 this year. She is Gifted Talented Student and is a very high achiever till date. This year, she earned first position in the White Mountain Jump Rope Jamboree 2015. She was selected for the Monadnock Healthy Eating Recipe Challenge that was aired on Kids in the Kitchen show, and received honorable mention in the Story for the NHPTV -PBS kids writers contest 2015. She scored fourth position in North South Foundation Science competition.

Hiral is part of YMCA Swim Team, completed 4th level in figure skating. In addition, she is an active participant in Baton Twirling. An active performer of Bollywood and Bharatnatyam dance, she is also advanced piano player and beginner level violin player. If that is not enough, Hiral loves to do rock climbing ,Hula Hoop and Pogo stick and Biking and scooter ride.

Neha Prasad
12th grade, Nashua High School South, Nashua, NH
Hometown: Nashua, NH

Neha is a high honor student at Nashua High. She is an avid math student. In eight grade, she placed second at the MATHCOUNTS competition and was a member of the four girl team to represent New Hampshire at the nationals. She has been recognized as a top freshman and top sophomore in the SMASH math competition. She is also an active member of science club and DECA. For DECA, her team placed first in the international business plan category in New Hampshire.

Neha has been learning classical Indian vocal music and western piano for the past 11 years. She is a graduate of Shishubharati School of language and culture. She is a volunteer at Shishubharati, Aradhana school of music and IANH. As part of IANH she helps run a math workshop every year.

Pooja Puttigampala
12th grade, Sharon High School, Sharon, MA
Hometown: Sharon, MA

As a student at Sharon High School, Pooja Puttigampala has developed a fondness for science and technology. She is especially interested in the world of biology, as she has interned, volunteered, and done advanced lab work at the Boston Museum of Science, New England Sinai Hospital, and Biogen, respectively.
At the Museum of Science, Pooja participated in the Summer Youth Internship program and volunteered in the Design Challenges Department. At the Sinai Hospital, she worked with senior citizens afflicted with Alzheimer’s, organized patient files/records, supported hospital staff, and cheered up patients. At Biogen, Pooja participated in the Adventures in Biotechnology program, completing a project dealing with transduction, and DNA splicing, among other scientific processes.

Additionally, she is on the Sharon High School Math and Science Olympiad teams, helps runs a local Science Club For Girls as a Peer Mentor, has been recognized by the National Honor Society as a member, and is a self-employed tennis instructor.

Aditya Saligrama
8th grade, Meadowbrook School, Weston, MA
Hometown: Newton, MA

Aditya has been recognized for his creative writing in a number of national and regional publications. He is also an avid blogger and blogs about linux. Runs a blog devoted to Linux. He rates and reviews key Linux operating systems helping users understand pros and cons of each. Blog has generated over 30,000 unique views and was featured on Reddit.

Here is a brief list of his accomplishments: The Boston Globe 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards: Regional Gold Key for Poetry for a collection of poems: “Slow Down; Beauty; Fallen Glory”; Published author at age 10 in Ratna Mahotsave Souvenir “Deevige” publication of the New England Kannada Koota (NEKK); Le Grand Concours – National French Language Examination: Silver medal; Math Olympiad Gold pin in 3 consecutive years; National Mythology Exam: Gold medal.

Janani Sharma
11th grade, Nashua North High school, Nashua, NH
Hometown: Nashua, NH

Janani Sharma a passionate person who believes in her dream and works very hard towards it. Music being her one of the passion, she recently represented New England as a Top 14 Finalist from all over USA for the very popular Zee TV Show that is known for its highest TRP Rating all over India and viewed by millions globally. She was invited to Mumbai where she had to go through a very diligent training and weeks of rehearsals for the Grande Finale ZeeTV Saregamapa Lil Champs, North Americas .
Janani has won various local Musical and Dance competitions as well as an active member of her school choir and acapella .She has been involved in many volunteer works locally, one of them is Meals of Wheel , that she enjoys a lot. She likes to share love and compassion with the seniors in need and she volunteers at Nashua Senior center as well Nashua Soup Kitchen consistently.

Tej Sheth
12th grade, North Andover High School
Hometown: North Andover, MA

Tej Sheth not only excels in academics, but is a hard working person. Kids younger than him look up to him for guidance and for suggestions. He is co-founder and CEO of DigiZap, which provides an affordable digital conversion service for safer storage of precious photograph albums. (Tej also made to the 20 Under 20 list in 2014.)

He wrote code for MITx courses published on edX, converted courses such as 3.091x “Introduction to Solid State Chemistry” from the edX platform to a custom residential course platform and orked for the quality assurance of XBlocks on the edX Platform and residential. He wrote repository reference documentation for edX developers. He is captain of North Andover High School Robotics Team, and was placed in top 2% worldwide in VEX High School Robotics Competition 2015. The competition features the top 400 teams of the 10,000 worldwide. He expanded interest in school’s robotics program to build eight more teams.

Shriya Srinivas
12th grade, Shrewsbury High School
Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA

Shriya Srinivas has achievements in many categories such as academics, the arts, community service and in a professional environment. She is a consistent honor roll student and also a member of the Math Honors Society and National Honors Society. She has a score of 32 on her ACTs which puts her in the 98th percentile.

Shriya has been passionate about dance and has been learning Bharatanatyam, an age old classical dance form from India for the past 13 years. She performed her Arangetram (debut performance) in June 2012. Shriya continues to receive intensive training from her Guru. She has been regularly performing in the US and India receiving critical acclaim from her audience In 2013, Shriya received the 2nd prize in the Junior Category at the prestigious Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana festival. She received the 1st prize in the NAVIKA Dance Competition in 2013. She has also performed in many charity events that raised money for organizations such as Ekal Vidyalaya and Akshaya Patra. Apart from dance, Shriya is a talented singer.

Mano Sundaresan
Williams College ‘19; St. John’s High School ‘15, Shrewsbury, MA
Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA

Mano Sundaresan is a driven individual who has learned to make the most of the American experience while staying true to his Indian heritage. However, he doesn’t fit the typical U.S.-born Indian mold. For his entire life, he has been passionate about defying and breaking down stereotypes associated with Indians. In the past, he was encouraged by his parents to become a medical doctor, but he has boldly refused to pursue career paths that do not interest him, even if they are potentially profitable.

Mano is scholarly, but eclectic, a Renaissance man of sorts. His passions for political science, writing, public speaking, and music frequently tie together in his journalism and allow him to express himself through multiple avenues. Mano desires to one day run for public office. He is a National AP Scholar. He raised $9,000 for financial aid via coordinating and hosting a conference that over 350 people from across New England attended. He served as editor-in-chief for his high school newspaper Red and White.

Varun Swamy
11th grade, Shrewsbury High School
Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA

Varun is strong academically; He is a leader in his own rights and devoted to community service. He has consecutively been a highest honors student for all quarters since entering high school and has been accepted as a member of the Spanish National Honors Society.

He is also the treasurer of his Model United Nations club, which competes in Regional and National competitions. He has performed a lot of volunteer work in his community, including chairing volunteer events through the Indian Youth Group of Worcester, acting as an unpaid instructor for local Spanish classes, and tutoring peers in math. He is also a growing entrepreneur, being recognized by acceptance to TiE Young Entrepreneurs and co-founding the Business Team at his school.

Arman Tendulkar

6th grade, Brown Middle School, Newton, MA
Hometown: Newton, MA

For two years now Arman and a friend of his from school have conceived and run a food drive called the Drive for Five for our local town food pantry. He walks door to door in our neighborhood delivering bags with signs for individuals to donate food. He then returns a week later and collects all the bags of food for the pantry. Each time Arman and his classmate have collected 70-100 bags of food.

Volunteering such an early age, Arman is very selfless about this, expects no reward in return and demonstrates a real commitment. His kindness and care for others shines through in all aspects of his life.



  1. Hello
    Happy New Year !!
    My daughter Hiral Palakurty is one among the winners of stars under 20.
    Please let us know what is next .
    Do they get awards,certificates and when .


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