While most students were enjoying a few days off from school during last week's fall break, one Lakeside High School senior was busy on a college visitation.
Mili Shah said she took the time off from school to visit the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia because she has high hopes of enrolling there next fall.
"I think if I'm going to spend the next four years of my life somewhere, I need to know the place," said Mili, the 16-year-old daughter of Drs. Lopa and Bimal Shah, of Martinez. "The Wharton School is a great business school and I want to go into either finance or international business."
A first-generation American, Mili has a keen understanding of the world around her and wants to be involved in business transactions with people from all different cultures. At Lakeside High, Mili is president of both the national and Spanish honor societies.
"When I get older I want to go into business and I feel like different languages will help me out and with the growing Hispanic population, I'll need to know Spanish to communicate with those people," she said of her involvement in the Spanish Honor Society.
Mili admits that she's good at managing her time. In addition to serving as president of both honor societies, which means she's responsible for organizing the meetings and service opportunities for the groups, she also tutors students and is on the school's debate team. She was recently named a 2007 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and is on The Augusta Chronicle's Xtreme Teen Board. Additionally, Mili has begun teaching Bharat Natyam, an ancient classical Indian dance.
"When I started eight years ago, there was no teacher or studio here in Augusta, so I traveled to Atlanta for classes," Mili said. Last year, Mili performed the graduation dance Arangetram. The Arangetram is a solo dance that lasts for nearly three hours and is performed in front of a large crowd; Mili's debut performance was in front of 250 people.
Since she has graduated from Bharat Natyam, Mili has begun teaching the dance in the basement of her Martinez home and has a few students.
"I wanted to be better connected with my Indian heritage," said Mili. "My aunt and cousin always did this dance and I loved it."
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