There’s a slim chance Ishaan Nerurkar would ever be at a loss for words.
The North Penn High School junior was one of four students named as finalists in the Pennsylvania State University Essay Contest.
The task: Write an impromptu essay in under an hour after reading “Global Village Idiocy,” a New York Times article written by Thomas Friedman.
The goal: Write an essay that has evidence of a broad range of analytical and writing skills.
“My English teacher told me about it,” said Nerurkar, 16. “The article was on the impact on the Internet on a global society and how it’s connecting the world.”
Nerurkar related to the theme on a personal note and decided to write about that.
“I gave an example of how the Internet affected me connecting with other people. I am able to talk with my cousins and friends in India instantly,” he said. “I don’t have to take a 10-hour flight; I can send email or text.”
Nerurkar also wrote about global change in general.
“The Internet helped exchange ideas and advance technology,” he said. “It started in new subcultures and it’s part of every field now.”
More than 150 essays were submitted to the contest, and the end result was three winners and 17 finalists.
Nerurkar, along with students Mikhail Khodak, Mary O’Mara and Suyog Padgaonkar, were selected as outstanding student writers by their high school English teachers and asked to take part in the contest.
He said his interest in reading the newspaper and books helped him excel in his awesome accomplishment.
“The AP English classes help us a lot in writing,” he said.
Nerurkar is taught by Ms. Ellen McKee.
“I think my essay stood out because of how the Internet affected me personally,” he said.
He admitted being a bit nervous when it came time to write the essay, as it was his first time competing in such a thing.
“Writing about global issues … I enjoy that more than creative writing,” he said.
Nerurkar is proud of not only his writing skills, but also his accomplishment
“I feel very proud that I was selected, and I’m surprised too since English is not my strongest subject,” he said.
Writing isn’t a major factor in his future – he plans to major in economics, which is more math than anything.
Like all good academic tasks, Nerurkar was influenced by the assignment to go on and find out more about journalist Friedman.
“I read a book by him called ‘The World is Flat.’ I was real interested by his style: It was plain and said a lot in a few words,” he said.
Next week, our Whiz Kid will be fellow essay finalist Mikhail Khodak.
Do you know of a student that did something awesome for his school, community or sports team? Contact Tony Di Domizio at firstname.lastname@example.org.