CAA's Jerome Evans Memorial Scholarship Winner Attending SUNY Stony Brook University
August, 14, 2015 - By Coach Lindsey
For the past seven years, CAA has held an essay contest asking our graduating senior class to tell us how they have impacted another person or a group of people. Of those who participate, one winner is chosen to receive the Jerome Evans Memorial Scholarship based on their overall impact and writing abilities. This year, Sricharan Gumudavelli wrote the best and most heart-felt essay, which earned him $1,500 to use toward his college expenses at SUNY’s Stony Brook University for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. The Jerome Evans Memorial Scholarship was created to honor a CAA team member who was tragically killed in an accident on his way home from working with CAA students in 2008. Jerome had a real heart for helping young people like Sricharan achieve their dreams. Sricharan’s essay stood out not only because it was extremely well-written, but also for his dedication to helping other young minds reach their full potential. In a phone interview, Sricharan explained how he plans to continue doing work to improve others’ lives as well as his own. From grades sixth through ninth, Sricharan volunteered at the local library’s summer reading program. Reading is one of Sricharan’s favorite pastimes, and he wanted to impart that love to those attending the program. The essay that Sricharan wrote for CAA’s contest focused on one little girl that he remembered meeting who, with Sricharan’s help, eventually discovered her own love for books. He explained that there were several children he worked with, but it was her smile that stood out to him the most. “I would help the younger kids choose a book, and I would help them register for the program,” he said. “Sometimes, if there was extra time, I’d read books to them as well.” After leaving the summer reading program, Sricharan did not stop volunteering. He joined the Key Club in high school, which is a club focused around volunteering. “I really liked to help introduce others to volunteering opportunities [in Key Club],” he said. He plans to continue dedicating his time while in college. Sricharan, who was born in Hyderabad, India, applied to over 15 colleges, and 11 of those schools accepted him, including Case Western Reserve University, University of Rochester, and Stony Brook. Even though Case Western was his first choice of all of those he applied to, he had several reasons to make the final decision to attend Stony Brook this fall. “Stony Brook offered me a good scholarship, and it is a research-focused school,” he explained. “I’ve spent a lot of time at Stony Brook and am very familiar with the campus. It’s very student-friendly and feels like family.” Over this past summer, Sricharan has committed himself to the research opportunities at Stony Brook, working as an intern in one of their pharmacology research labs. Once he is an official freshman, he will study biochemistry, and he hopes to attend medical school to eventually become a doctor. “Maybe a neurosurgeon or something in internal medicine,” he said. Stony Brook offers special pre-health advising for students with a strong interest in medicine. Sricharan said he plans to take full advantage of all that Stony Brook offers, including the prestigious University Scholars Program he was invited to join. According to Stony Brook’s website, the University Scholars Program is a small community of high-achieving students, and only those within the top 7 percent of all incoming freshmen are invited. The small group of academically-talented students dedicate themselves to “focus around leadership, scholarship, and academic excellence.” They will also enjoy special housing, research opportunities, academic advising, tutoring, and much more through the unique program. Although Sricharan found it fairly easy to make his final college decision, he said that getting started would not have been as easy without CAA’s assistance. “CAA helped me with the process of researching colleges,” he explained. “Before CAA, I thought you just applied and were done, but they taught me that I had to find the right college for me.” Sricharan said that he would recommend CAA to others planning to attend college, and advises those searching for the right fit college and career to find a strong support system. “CAA was helpful because they help you find colleges that best fit your personality,” he said. “I would encourage others to speak to their friends about their college plans. You really need friends to help you through all of it.” CAA wishes you the best of luck, Sricharan!