Atlanta, GA: Andhra Pradesh Physicians and Professionals of North America (APNA) Foundation organized the national finals of the APNA Whiz Kid contest at Independence High School in Alpharettaon January 12. Consul General Ajit Kumar was the chief guest at the event.
The preliminary competition was held in November in 14 locations across USA. Out of the several hundred that participated in the preliminaries, the top five from each category were selected for the finals.
Madhav Durbha and Hari Pothukuchi hosted the nail biting finals for the two categories, which saw a keenly fought, nerve wracking finish. There were 25 questions in all for each category, with five questions each from Science, Math, Vocabulary, India and Social Studies. All questions were multiple-choice timed questions and the audience were warmly surprised to see that time was not a constraint to the contestants. It was also interesting to note that the list of ten finalists had only one contestant from the host city of Atlanta. Category 2 competitions saw a tie for the third place requiring an extra round of 10 tie breaker questions.
The audience were also regaled by a very enjoyable musical interlude conducted ably by Venkat chennubotla along with his cultural team of Phani, Ram, Sneha, Bhanu & Keerthana. Many songs were presented by this team, which took the definition of musical entertainment to dizzying heights.
APNA Foundation promotes charitable activities primarily in US and in India. These activities include educational, scientific, cultural, healthcare fields and other focus areas. As a part of this philanthropic endeavor, APNA has been actively working on many projects to help needy and meritorious children in India for several years.
“Under the chairmanship of Shri Adisesha Reddy and president Bala Indurti and other dedicated leaders, APNA is committed to foster the spirit of excellence and to provide the environment for the spirit to sustain,” said a press release issued by the foundation.
“After providing several venues for help and support in India and elsewhere, APNA received several requests to help the meritorious students in USA also. APNA whiz kid competitions in USA is one of the activities that has been conceptualized by these leaders, to help identify the “whiz kid” of Indian Origin in USA.”
The goal of the competition is to select the top students in two categories based on merit alone and provide them with scholarships and recognition awards. There were two categories of students. Category 1 was for Grades 3rd through 5th and Category 2 was for Grades 6th through 8th. Participation was open to students of Indian Origin across USA based on their grade level.
The APNA Whiz kid winners for Category 1 and Category 2 are as follows:
Category1 (3rd – 5th grade):
First Place: Rohan Nagabhairav, Dallas, TX ($1000 award)
Second Place: Sraavya Pinjala, Salt Lake City, UT($500 award)
Third Place: Arnav Singh, Tampa, FL ($250 award)
Category2 (6th – 8th grade):
First Place: Ujwal Punyamurthula, Austin, TX ($1000 award)
Second Place: Sumedh Surya Garimella, Atlanta, GA ($500 award)
Third Place: Sairisheek Muthukuru, San Jose, CA ($250 award)
All out of state participants received $500 travel compensation.
In an evening which demonstrated the brilliant acumen of the young contestants, melodious musical entertainment and inspiring speeches from leaders,
The APNA Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Late Dr P.V.Rao, Dr Narasimhulu Neelagaru and Narender Reddy.
Mr Phani Dokka accepted the award on behalf of Late Dr P.V.Rao garu. One of the highlights of the evening was the soul stirring eulogy from Dokka to Dr Rao. There was not a dry eye in the audience to the moving tribute by Phani that was blended with sincere praise and marked respect to Dr Rao.
Several other volunteers and community and media members were also recognized during the evening.
At the end of the program, President Bala Indurti shared his resolve to let new blood infuse into the APNA strategic initiatives after leading at the helm for five years. He expressed confidence that under the stewardship of President-elect Dr V.K.Raju, APNA would continue smoothly in fulfilling its goals and objectives.