Manu Kondapi Presents at The Arizona Science and Engineering Fair

“I’ve been interning for the SCENE Research Program for the past two years- this year, as a member of Professor Newman’s lab at ASU, I’ve been working with the superconducting properties of niobium. Basically, I’m growing samples of niobium with different amounts of oxygen to see how the critical temperature of Nb is affected. I’ll be compiling a research paper for presentation at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in late March. Outside the lab, I’ve been working mostly on scholarship applications and interview preparation- I’ve been fortunate enough to be named a (semi) finalist for full ride scholarships around the country so I’ll be traveling for the next couple weeks to attend interviews with different colleges. I’m also the graphic designer for Horizon’s production of The Sound of Music so I’m starting to work on the playbill and ticket designs! The musical has been my favorite since I can remember, so I’m super excited to see how it turns out.”

How do you spend free time? Free time? It’s actually been quite surprising- I expected this semester to be a lot less tedious, considering I’m done with college apps and have a lot less on my plate than in the past. But somehow, I’m still as busy as ever, perhaps with a little more time for sleep. When I do get free time though, I love to sing- I’ve been singing Indian Classical Vocal since the age of three and it’s been an incredible ride. I have a performance this Saturday at Arizona State University so I’m currently preparing for that! I also have a passion for the environment- I’ve created a sustainability proposal for implementation by the City of Chandler and am currently analyzing the proficiency of past Olympic Games in terms of environmental impact.

List your recent awards/accomplishments. National Merit Finalist, Prudential Spirit of Community- Distinguished Finalist, Flinn Scholarship- Finalist, Johnson Scholarship- Finalist, Belk Scholarship- Semifinalist, University of Southern California’s Trustee Scholarship- Finalist, National Security Language Initiative for Youth- Semifinalist, Winner of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) Essay Competition.

What are your college plans?/What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m not sure yet where I’ll be going to college- I applied to 17 and I’ll be hearing back from most in early April. My choices for my major are pretty open-ended right now- it’ll be somewhere in the scope of financial engineering, math, or economics. Whatever I do end up choosing, I know I’d like to attend Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs for my graduate studies. As for my career, I can imagine nothing more rewarding than being appointed a diplomat for the United States.

What motivates you to succeed? During my sophomore year, I participated in Valley Teen Leadership, a statewide program that educates teens about current issues, inspires community involvement, and develops leadership skills. On our first day, the program coordinator had us chant “We are difference-making world changers.” We all looked at him dubiously and he persisted until we sounded confident and filled the hall with our echoes. What drives me is that desire- the desire to be involved and to instigate change. As my mission statement reads, “I hope to inspire passion in others and in myself with commitment, compassion, and leadership.”

Manu is a Senior at Horizon Community Learning Center 



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