Jaspal Bhatia didn't know what his responsibilities would be as a newly selected member of the Georgia School Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee, but he knew it was an opportunity he couldn't let slip away.
Jaspal was one of only 52 students throughout the state selected to serve on the committee.
"They just called me up to the guidance office one day and handed me an application," said Jaspal, a sophomore at Lakeside High School. "It's a great honor to be able to do this."
Jaspal, the vice president of the sophomore class' student council, was looking forward to meeting with other students selected from around Georgia to serve on the committee.
"I like to express my ideas and be beneficial and help others," said the 15-year-old son of Dr. Jatinder and Mrs. Vador Bhatia, of Martinez. "My mom always says if you want to make a difference, you need to be a part of the solution."
At Lakeside, Jaspal is a member of the honor council, Students Against Destructive Decisions' executive council, debate team, Beta Club and Spanish honor society.
He also serves as the Interact communications officer and is treasurer of the Spanish club.
"Jaspal is an outstanding student," said Ann Tuten, a math teacher at Lakeside. "When he is in class, he gives 100 percent attention to his work. He never lets anything distract him from the subject matter.
"He strives for excellence in every way."
Principal Jeff Carney said Jaspal's overall attitude and work ethic is impressive.
"He takes everything seriously and has definitely become a leader in the sophomore class," Carney said. "He is a teacher's - and principal's - dream."
Jaspal, who is listed in Who's Who Among American High School Students and is an active member of the youth board of the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross, hopes to study medicine after graduation from high school.
"Right now, as long as I can get in somewhere, it's good," said Jaspal, whose father is section chief of neonatology at the Medical College of Georgia.
"(Medicine) is something I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to be able to help others."
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