Shilpa Gidugu, now in the last quarter of her high school career, is taking time to reflect on all that's been her experience thus far. The self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie” likes anything to do with adventure; hiking being one of her favorite pastimes, she also loves traveling and hopes to one day have seen all 7 continents of the world. Beyond this, she enjoys expressing her culture through Indian and western styles of dancing and singing.
Gidugu has been a recurring recipient of the principal’s list and honor roll achievements, maintaining principal’s list recognition throughout her entire freshman year and honor roll for the latter of her high school years. She’s also a proud member of the National and Math, Spanish, and Tri-M Music honors societies.
She currently serves as the Math Honors Society’s Vice President, but previously held an officer position as Vice President of the Spanish Honors Society during her junior year. In doing so, Gidugu helped raise over $2,000 for a non-profit organization called “Operation Smile” through the society’s annual dance-a-thon event held in late February. She continued to explore her passion for Spanish outside of the society by qualifying for the New Jersey State Seal of Biliteracy in the language.
Throughout her sophomore year, Gidugu worked on the Environmental Action Club’s board as Co-President and was involved in club activities like the annual Green Fair and yearly beach clean-ups at Asbury Park. She also competed in multiple areas of FBLA events at the National level through the school as well.
Working a job to mentor kids in Monroe, she also did this for middle and high school-aged students as part of being an NHS member. Through a local non-profit, Agraj Seva Kendra, Gidugu completes more tutoring and even plays cricket games with children who have disabilities.
She recalls her favorite memory from high school as being a trip she took to Broadway for chorus all the way back to her freshman year where she “watched Aladdin and even learned part of the medley and sang with some of the actors before the show. I got some autographs and a Jafar shirt. I got to sing, watch one of my favorite Disney films on broadway (which was my first time), and spent time with my friends.”
With a clear passion in biology, Gidugu always had a goal in mind of becoming a healthcare professional and more specifically, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Being an EAC member and presenting work of hers at an EXPO science fair her freshman year has helped confirm this passion of hers. While she remains undecided on her college of choice, Gidugu is set on majoring in biology and attending dental school at either Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences or Northeastern-Bouvé College of Health Sciences starting in the fall of 2021.