AHS student selected as Merit Scholar semi-finalist

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Courtesy Photo

Story courtesy of Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Schools

It would be easy to feel intimidated when talking with Airline senior Abhishek Shah, but he exudes warmth, immediately putting you at ease as if he has known you for years.

Abhishek Shah
Abhishek Shah

Never mind Abhi is about as smart as they come. He scored a 35 on his ACT; has a 4.0 GPA; takes a load of AP courses and is designing an autonomous drone for his Senior Project.

His most recent accomplishment? Being selected as a semi-finalist for the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.

That should look really good on his college application to MIT. Yes, as in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Abhi’s ultimate dream?

“To create a product that revolutionizes society,” he said. “I plan to go to MIT, major in aerospace engineering and create an air vehicle available to the general consumer.”

Airline Principal Jason Rowland received the letter notifying him of his star student’s selection as a semi-finalist. He has known Abhi since grade school and is like a proud papa.

“You watch these kids grow up. He’s run from nothing. In fact, he’s run toward things. He’s as motivated and driven as any student that I have known,” Rowland said.

He added, “His academic prospects are off the chart. His 35 ACT, then with his SAT. If he’s a National Merit finalist and scholar, most ivy league schools will contact him.” Abhi should know by year’s end if he makes the cut.

Not only is Abhi ecstatic for himself, but also for his parents. They immigrated from India because “my father knew America was the land of opportunity.” He is also humble, giving huge credit to Bossier Schools for his success.

“I was asked to attend the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, but I turned them down. That was one of the best decisions I made,” the scholarly senior said. “The teachers are excellent here and a lot of my test grades are in large part attributed to them and the administration. I couldn’t ask for a better school to attend.”

With the smarts like Abhi has, one would think he studies all the time. Not true. He is also Captain of the Drum Line, on the school’s History Bowl team and enjoys worshiping with his family.

“I just study when I can,” Abhi said. “In my free time, I go to church. That’s what I love to do.”

He also spends his personal time helping and encouraging his classmates as they prepare to take the ACT.

“He’s tutored a number of his classmates on Sundays for the last six weeks and has been sending out emails to encourage them,” Principal Rowland said.

No wonder Rowland is like a proud father, why Abhi’s classmates love him and why he, no doubt, will one day revolutionize society and be the next Henry Ford.