A lot of high-achieving high school students strive to become a doctor, but Meera Solanki wants to do more. She wants to be an oncologist. Not only that, she wants to find a cure for cancer. With a grade-point average of 4.658, Solanki is Tokay High School’s valedictorian.
The daughter of Dr. Kirti and Shredha Solanki of Lodi, Meera Solanki says her most memorable experience during her high school years was learning to culture, split and experiment with cancerous cell to observe their reaction to chemotherapy. That took place during an internship during her junior year at the UC Davis Medical Research Center.
Solanki, 18, found it easy to succeed in the classroom because she loves learning.
“I think I started working harder in my junior year,” she said. “I took more AP classes.”
Solanki said she was fortunate to have the same counselor, Victor Mariana, all four years at Tokay. She credits Mariana for helping her write her college applications.
“I’d like to thank my family, friends, teachers, counselor and especially my parents for encouraging, supporting and motivating me over these past four years,” Solanki said.
In addition to taking Advanced Placement classes, Solanki was president of Tokay’s National Honors Society, vice president and secretary of the Key Club and a member of the California Scholastic Federation.
Other activities include participation in Science Olympiad and Science Bowl. She ran on the Tokay cross country team and played on the Tigers’ varsity tennis team.
Outside of school, Solanki participates in classical Indian dancing called Bhoratanatyam. After eight years of lessons, she graduated in August 2012 and his now considered a professional dancer.
Solanki’s most immediate plans include taking pre-med classes at the University of California, Los Angeles, and then attending a medical school specializing in oncology.
Her advice to the Tokay students she’s leaving behind?
“I tell them to stay motivated and take advantage of the opportunity to learn,” she said. “It’s a privilege to be a student at Tokay High School.”
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.