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Senior Sohan Kancherla Named 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar

Sohan KancherlaSenior Sohan Kancherla has been selected as one of 150 Coca-Cola Scholars for 2018. Sohan is one of just three students from Missouri to be selected as a Coca-Cola Scholar this year. Nationwide, approximately 150,000 students applied for this prestigious honor.

Sohan will receive a $20,000 scholarship toward his college education. The criteria of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 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.” Sohan will travel to Atlanta later this month to attend a leadership development institute and awards banquet.

Sohan plans to attend Harvard University or Yale University in the fall to study medicine or business. This year, he serves as Priory’s Student Council president as well as president of the school’s math club. Under his leadership, Priory’s math team finished in first place in six consecutive statewide Excellence in Mathematics competitions. Since his freshman year, Sohan has captained the varsity Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science (TEAM+S) and Scholar Bowl teams. He led the TEAM+S team to a score that qualified it for Nationals, and the Scholar Bowl team to a second place finish in State and a first place finish in the St. Louis Metro League, and was first place individually in St. Louis.

Sohan represented Priory at the Missouri Scholars Academy during his junior year and served as Priory’s ambassador to the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. He participated in the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program at Washington University School of Medicine, working with Phyllis Stein, Ph.D, in Washington University’s Cardiovascular Lab researching the efficacy of multiscale entropy as a parameter of infants’ heart rate variability following therapeutic hypothermia. He received the Partnership of Research Institution’s Award for Excellence in Research.

Outside of the school, Sohan has a deep focus on improving his community and fostering social justice.  In his sophomore year, he founded a non-profit organization called Bridges to America to work with members of the immigrant and refugee communities in St. Louis to recognize issues they face and to raise awareness of them. His organization introduced members of the Priory community to the bright mosaic of diversity that the city of St. Louis holds. He is the first high school-aged citizenship teacher to volunteer at the International Institute, where he and other members of Bridges to America teach weekly citizenship literacy classes to adult immigrants and refugees assimilating into American society. Bridges to America also volunteers at the annual Festival of Nations and organizes clothing, food, and blanket fundraisers for the local refugee and new immigrant population.

Sohan also is one of the founding members of Interfaith Youth Council​, which unites youth of various religious backgrounds to discuss differences and similarities between faiths as well as community engagement. He served as a Youth Teacher in Balvihar Hindu Youth Group, where he helped organize ​efforts that led to the donation of over 10,000 cans of healthy fruits and vegetables to local food shelters and funding for the delivery of clean water to those in in need in India. 

“Sohan has been a remarkable example to us all. His leadership, humility and drive has led him to great accomplishments, both in and outside of our school,” Headmaster Father Gregory Mohrman, O.S.B. said. “He exemplifies to a remarkable degree the ideals of the Benedictine call to serve those less fortunate, to reach out in communion of mind and heart to others, and to treat with reverence all those whom we encounter in life. To have him as a student in our midst has been a tremendous blessing, and we know that he will continue to be such for others as he moves on to college.”

Due to his efforts with Bridges to America and Interfaith Youth Council, Sohan was selected as a recipient of the 2018 Princeton Prize in Race Relations, which recognizes high school students who have had a significant positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities through their volunteer efforts. Princeton Prize recipients receive a cash prize and an invitation to a national symposium on race at Princeton University. Sohan also was selected as a 2018 AXA Achievement Scholar, which recognizes students who demonstrate ambition and self-drive as evidenced by outstanding achievement in school, community or work-related activities. He will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and Priory will receive a $1,000 grant from the AXA Foundation. Additionally, Sohan was recognized as one of 40 nationwide semi-finalists in the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement, which recognizes high school juniors who demonstrate a record of creative leadership and public service, academic distinction, interdisciplinary problem solving, and experience addressing societal issues including race and racism. Sohan also​ received the Martin Luther King Jr. Model of Justice Award, given by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to high school students who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to social justice and serving the broader community. 

Sohan achieved a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT, is an AP Scholar with Distinction, and is a National Merit Finalist under consideration for the National Merit Scholarship. He is the son of Dr. Kiran Kancherla and Dr. Madhuri Subbaiah of Ladue, Missouri.

“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

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St. Louis, MO 63141
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