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Freedom High School: Tribune scholars profiles and essays

An invitation was extended to the top 3 percent of Hillsborough’s graduating seniors to take part in the annual competition.
Freedom High School, 17410 Commerce Park Blvd. in New Tampa, was named in memory of those who lost their lives during the jihadi attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Freedom High School, 17410 Commerce Park Blvd. in New Tampa, was named in memory of those who lost their lives during the jihadi attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. [ DENNIS JOYCE | Times ]
Published May 19, 2021|Updated May 19, 2021

More than 200 of Hillsborough County’s top high school seniors from 35 public and private schools accepted an invitation to share their accomplishments and take part in an essay contest through the 2021 R.F. “Red” Pittman Tribune Scholars program. Their profiles and essays are published here, just as the students submitted them. To search all schools, click here.

Alisha Bhatia

Alisha Bhatia, a senior at Freedom High School in New Tampa, is one of four winners in the 2021 R.F. "Red" Pittman Tribune Scholars program.
Alisha Bhatia, a senior at Freedom High School in New Tampa, is one of four winners in the 2021 R.F. "Red" Pittman Tribune Scholars program. [ Alisha Bhatia ]

Activities and accomplishments

1. Founder and President of Scrubs Club, Founder and President of HOSA, President of FBLA and 1st place at regional competition and 5th place at state competition (Grades 10-12; Grades 11-12, Grades 9-12),

2. 384 hours volunteering at Moffitt Cancer Center, New Tampa Recreational Center, Lawton Chiles Elementary School, and tutoring students at attended high school, (Grades 9-12)

3. Research on diagnostic biosensor, University of South Florida; won 3rd place at regional STEM Fair (Grade 10-11)

4. Week-long internship, Michigan State University, Physics of Atomic Nuclei program (funded by the National Science Foundation and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics), Grade 11

5. National Merit Finalist, National Merit Scholar ($2,500 scholarship winner)

6. Privately tutored students for SAT, helped improve score by average of 150 points

College and post-high school plans:

Psychology and chemistry double major, University of Florida

Essay:

With its wealth of resources and resources of wealth, the U.S. has every advantage necessary to fully combat the coronavirus pandemic.

We should approach the issue of hyper-individualism that leads to protocol non-compliance with economic incentives: bonus payments can be released after conducting daily COVID-19 symptoms surveys and temperature checks to improve contact tracing. This will transform hyperbolic discounting, when people favor immediate rewards over deferred ones, from an issue into an advantage. Additionally, easily digestible daily CDC briefings to update, guide, and combat common myths will inform people and combat the anti-science movement. This centralized information center of scientists will combat confusing and sometimes contradictory policy with science-based action.

However, this is not just a domestic problem. Variants arise like a Whac-A-Mole game, and open border policy combined with the fact that many nations won’t begin vaccinations until 2023 due to scarcity means that we can only beat this virus when the globe beats it.

We can follow the model of the Montreal Protocol, which succeeded after hundreds of unsuccessful anti-climate change efforts due to unprecedented global coordination and encouragement of the private sector.

Similarly, we need to cooperate better on travel protocol in the global sphere and share research in the private sector. Greater funding and sharing of predictive AI and data models will allow officials to improve policies, improve the work of other researchers, and better inform the public. If we have more concrete information about the proven risks, we can convince more people to be safe.

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• • •

Jack Gardner

School activities and accomplishments:

  • National Merit Finalist
  • Florida West Coast West Point Society General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award
  • 3rd Place in Pharmacology at HOSA State Leadership Competition
  • President of NHS and Mu Alpha Theta
  • Varsity swim captain junior and senior year
  • Ran a 4:10 marathon

College or other post-high school plans:

University of Florida – Biomedical Engineering Major

• • •

Rishi Padmanabhan

Activities and Accomplishments:

1. Ranked fourth in this year’s graduating class of approximately 400 students in my school

2. Over 150 community service hours

3. Played for the school basketball team, 2 years and played AAU club basketball, 4 years

4. A member of 3 clubs, FBLA, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society, Vice President of FBLA and Mu Alpha Theta during my high school career

5. 13 AP Classes Taken in high school, AP Scholar with Distinction

6. TYE (TiE Youth Entrepreneurship) Global Finalist 2020

Post-grad Plans:

Planning on attending either the University of Michigan or UCLA to pursue a BS in Computer Science

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