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.