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Madhuri Molleti Selected For Nat Geo Mundo Explorer Competition

Press Release

Madhuri Molleti was among four high school students chosen to join National Geographic scientists, writer and photographers as part of the Nat Geo Mundo Explorer Competition.

Molleti, of Madison, Ala., and a 2017 graduate of James Clemens High School, was chosen from the plethora of student submissions from the U.S. and Latin American countries. The competition, launched in 2011, selects two students from the U.S. and two from Latin America.

Molleti embarked on an Iceland-based expedition last month for a 15-day trip to explore the subarctic nation to learn about climate change, according to a Madison City Schools news release.

The other explorers — Trey Leveque, Emilia Rodriguez and Maria Lorena — are exploring Fiji, Madagascar and India, respectively, according to an AL.com report.

Madison Mayor Paul Finley spoke fondly of Molleti and previous students from the Alabama city who have been selected in the competition in years past.

"For two consecutive years, a student from Madison has been afforded this wonderful honor. This is just another opportunity for us to show the world what we already know," said Finley in a statement. “The city of Madison produces some of the most impressive students in the world. Madison is proud of Madhuri and her accomplishments and delighted she has this incredible opportunity through DirecTV and Nat Geo Mundo.”

Added Dave Hargrove, regional director of external communications for AT&T and DirecTV, sponsors of the competition, “It's exciting to play a part in offering students like Madhuri a chance to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we look forward to learning about her adventures later this summer.”

Molleti’s travels will include visits to Iceland’s geothermal features, its rugged coast, its glacier-rich Vatnajokull National Park and other stops that include basalt columns, black sand beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, volcanic features, forests, waterfalls and fishing villages.

“We celebrate this honor with her and know that she will represent our school district well. It’s an example of how talented our students are in Madison City Schools,” said Madison City Schools assistant school superintendent Eric Terrell in a statement.

Molleti, who was a member of the National Honor Society and an AP student at her high school, plans to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall.

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