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Coca-Cola Scholar 2017

Tejas and team

Saint Louis Priory School is pleased to announce that senior Tejas Sekhar has been selected as one of this year’s 150 Coca-Cola Scholars. More than 86,000 students nationwide applied for this prestigious honor.

Tejas will receive a $20,000 scholarship toward his college education. He plans to attend Northwestern University in the fall, and to eventually study medicine. He will travel to Atlanta in April for a special leadership development institute and awards banquet presented by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. The foundation’s criteria for selecting its scholars include “well-rounded, bright students who not only excel academically, but are also actively involved in their schools. These leaders are passionate and service-oriented, and demonstrate a sustained commitment to bettering their community.”

Tejas is an energetic part of the Priory community. He currently serves on Priory’s Student Council as Vice President, and is an editor of “The Record” student newspaper. Usually, this dual role is prohibited due to the extraordinary time demands, but Tejas has handled both responsibilities with ease. He worked to bring the Model United Nations program back to Priory after it lapsed, and also serves as Treasurer for the St. Louis Area Model United Nations (SLAMUN) organization. In that role, he raised funds to finance SLAMUN conferences for the entire year. He is Varsity Captain of Priory’s TEAM+S and Scholar Bowl teams. He has earned Master status – the highest rank possible – in the Guild of Saint Columbkille, Priory’s medieval arts organization. He is a member of the Priory Varsity Tennis and Cross Country teams, and is a 1st Degree Blackbelt in Taekwondo. He plays guitar and sings. Tejas serves as a Priory Student Ambassador, and volunteers in a variety of other capacities around the school.

Over the past two summers, Tejas completed sponsored genomics research through Washington University for which he received a $2000 grant during both his sophomore and junior summers. By the time he graduates, he will be published. His senior thesis is a study on the feasibility of sustaining a low-maintenance Zebrafish tank system.

Tejas is Hindu in the Priory Catholic school community, and has dutifully taken six years of Catholic theology. He uses his understanding of Catholic doctrine to inform and educate himself and others through Bal Vihar, the Hindu religious education program. His warm, approachable, and humble spirit led to his appointment as President of Priory’s Spiritual Student Council, which helps to plan and organize spiritual events both on and off campus for people of all faiths.

Tejas has consistently shown dedicated service to his school and the St. Louis community. He has volunteered for a hospital and post-anesthesia care unit; serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Bal Vihar, which shares India’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage to younger generations; organized the St. Louis Walk for Water and raised over $5000; planned and led a clothing drive to benefit immigrants and refugees in the St. Louis community; and served as a teaching assistant for Aim High St. Louis.

Beth Collier, Tejas’s college counselor, said, “Tejas is a young person who loves to learn for the sake of learning. He’s achievement-oriented, so he’s always looking to improve. He is one of our finest graduates.”

Priory Headmaster Father Gregory Mohrman said, “We are all very proud of Tejas for this accomplishment, and for all he’s been able to achieve. He provides a great example for his fellow students, and he very much deserves this recognition. He is an extraordinary young man.”

Tejas is the son of Mr. Sekhar Prabhakar and Dr. Sunitha Thanjavuru of Creve Coeur.

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
P. 314.434.3690    F.314.576.7088
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