By PRAGYA SINGH ‘23 and SRINIDHI VENKATESH ‘22
Our March Senior of the Month, Janaki Chandra ‘20, has aspirations to become a pediatric dentist after her eight year dental program journey at Nova Southeastern University, which she will join in the fall. This career choice is no surprise, as from early on, Janaki has contributed her time and efforts to helping those around her.
She is a four year member of UNICEF, each year advancing through the ranks of leadership to culminate this year as Co-President of the club. Her role in the club, however, goes far beyond this title, as she has been with the UNICEF club at EHS since its founding by her older sister. Because of these early experiences with the club, Chandra has a special connection with this club. Her time with UNICEF has taught her so much about healthcare and has even pushed her to discover her major, Public Health.
Furthermore, at the age of sixteen, she worked to banish the language barrier for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Working alongside a Boston University professor in Linguistics and Psychology, she took part in an eight-week research program that put her with graduate students and PhD students, making Chandra the youngest member of the team. The device created by the team was a viable solution for communication practice for these children.
Beyond her time given to endeavors in public health and other similar fields, Chandra is also an avid tennis player. She started freshman year as First Doubles on the JV Team, and advanced to First Doubles on the Varsity team during her sophomore year. She also won MVP along with her partner. Sophomore year tennis allowed her to interact with many upperclassmen and put her through new experiences, which is why she particularly treasures it.
She qualified for states along with her doubles partner during her junior year, and became co-captain of the team along with her close friends, Jessica Damanski and Shruti Garg. She will miss the tennis team but looks forward to the future and keeping in touch with her tennis family at EHS.
Janaki would like to thank Mr. McMahon, her world history teacher who she believes has been an important influence on her for the past two years. Though the subject wasn’t her favorite, she realized the importance of history and its impact on our present day.
Through her experience at Edison High school, Chandra learned an important lesson.
“Advocate for yourself. We hear about advocating in many ways, but one of the most important things to do is being an advocate for yourself and making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself,” she says.