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North South Foundation’s 30th Anniversary And The National Finals Held At MIT A Huge Success!!

Savitha Rajiv
08/15/2019

North South Foundation’s 30th Anniversary and the National Finals held at MIT a huge success!!

North South Foundation(NorthSouth) celebrated its 30th Anniversary and the 2019 National Finals at MIT during August 9-11th. About 4500 contestants and their families attended the event.

NorthSouth is a 100% volunteer-drive organization that was established in 1989 by Dr. Ratnam Chitturi in Chicago. The mission of the organization is to develop human resources by giving scholarships to brilliant but needy students in India entering colleges, regardless of religion, gender, caste or creed.

Bill Gates said “The best and the brightest students shouldn’t be denied access to higher education, simply because they can’t afford it.”.

NorthSouth does exactly that. In the 30 years since the inception of the organization, NorthSouth has given out over 20,000 scholarships changing the lives of thousands of kids and their families for the better!

Each spring NorthSouth conduct educational bees in Math, Science, Spelling, Vocab, Geography, Brain, History, Essay writing and Public Speaking. Over 15,000 children, K-12 from 90 chapters across 37 states participate in these regional contests. And every summer, the top scoring 10% of the children are invited to compete at the National Finals.

The Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapter volunteers jointly hosted the 2019 National Finals here at MIT!! This is the first time NorthSouth hosted a three-day event, starting contests on Friday, reducing the stress on the contestants who were competing in multiple contests over the weekend.

The campus was buzzing with enthusiastic kids and parents who were not only excited to be at the Finals, but also at MIT! Several National and International champions in Spelling, Geography and Science volunteered their time to pronounce at the Spelling bee, Vocab bee, Geography bee and Science bee contests. NorthSouth National Team members as well as Board members joined the local technical team to help run the contests.

The goal of the 2019 National Finals team was the provide a well-rounded experience to all guests. So in addition to conducting the contests, we offered a variety of over 20 “Meet the Pro”(MTP) sessions, coordinated by Praveen Goli. Parenting sessions on “How to connect with your kids in the digital age”, run by Uma Chandrika Milner, Psychologist at Lesley University, and “Healthy Mindfulness” by Dr. Hema Embar gave the parents an opportunity to ask questions and get some tips.

MTP sessions like Spelling & Geography Champions panel were run by the Scripps Champions and the National Geographic bee Champions. The champions made presentations about their journey to becoming a champions and answered several questions by kids and parents curious about how long their studied and if they gave up video games etc!!

We were fortunate to have several guests who conducted MTP sessions like Dr. Anu Annaswamy, who talked about the work her lab is involved in, including drones, Dr. Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka who talked about what it takes to be a Changemaker.

A wonderful group of young MIT students volunteered their time to run the very popular campus tours and held a session to talk about what it is like to be a student at MIT and how they got here. This was understandably a very heavily attended session too! Special thanks goes out to Haripriya Mehta, Deekshita Kacham & Marwa Al Alawi for making this happen. “For some people, volunteering is about giving. But for MIT community, it is a way of living” said Haripriya, NorthSouth Alum who is working on her Master’s degree at MIT!

Fun activities like Mehendi, face painting, corn hole toss and others were run by youth volunteers led by Anitha Rajagopalan and Aparna Ram that gave the kids a chance to relax and enjoy.

Several of the events were live streamed so parents, families and volunteers who could not join us were able to still be a part of some of the events. Walking around campus, volunteers were greeted by smiling and happy parents and kids who shared with them how well the finals event was organized.

The awards ceremony was held in a packed Kresge auditorium on both Saturday and Sunday. Led by Anitha Rajagopalan and her team, it was one of the best awards ceremonies parents said they attended. Every finalist who was in the auditorium was invited to the stage to get their participation trophies. The excitement and the smiles that lit their faces as they received their trophies and proudly stood beaming while the parents took their pictures was a sight to see!!

Rohit Rajiv & Anirudh Iyengar, both NorthSouth Alumni, did a fantastic job engaging the 1500 kids and parents in the auditorium.  Samyukta and Sudhiksha Mallick sang the US and Indian National Athems to set the stage for a wonderful awards ceremony. Dr. Praveen Tipirneni, President and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic Inc. and Dr. Bill Drayton, social entrepreneur & Founder of Ashoka were the keynote speakers on Saturday. Dr. Tipirneni distributed trophies to the top 10 ranks in various contests. “Showcase India – A passage to Bollywood” by Nikita’s Bollywood dance academy performed an upbeat number on stage.

Anjitaa Radhakrishnan & Janani Sharma, two beautiful & talented young women emceed the ceremony on Sunday. Meghana Tadepalli, a NorthSouth youth volunteer lent her beautiful voice to the US and Indian National Anthems! Mr Subu Kota, Founder & CEO of The Boston Group and very active member of the New England Indian community presided over the awards.

Mr. Kota spoke about how he was able to get a college education, thanks to scholarships given to him, similar to what NorthSouth does. Mr. Kota surprised us by announcing on stage that he would bridge the $10,000 gap the Sponsorship team said we were short of reaching our goal of $100,000!!

The talented Himanshi Patel performed a Kathak dance and students from the Chidambaram Dance academy performed a mesmerizing rendition of “Bho Shambho”!

We are so fortunate to have the support of Mr. Kota and many other community members and supporters from across the US who sponsored the NorthSouth Finals event that enables us to increase the number of scholarships we can distribute in the upcoming year!

NorthSouth thanks MIT & Dr.  Anu Annaswamy, Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at MIT to help us secure the venue to host the Finals here. A special thanks to Vandana Sharma, our own community member who designed the special 30th anniversary commemorative logo and the Beebook cover just for this occasion!

Through meticulous planning, and thousands of hours of work by over 20 committees and 400 volunteers, feeding nearly 3000 people each day, and hosting close to a hundred out of town guests from across the country, the 2019 National Finals and the 30th anniversary celebrations was one for the books!

“2019 Finals at MIT and 30th Anniversary watermark will remain a defining moment in the NorthSouth Journey” – Dr. Ratnam Chitturi, Founder, North South Foundation

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
RankChild FNameChild LNameGrade 
JUNIOR SPELLING BEE
1DhruvSubramanian3Fremont, CA
2SrinidhiRao3Pensacola, FL
3ShradhaRachamreddy3San Jose, CA
4NithikaRangan3Elk Grove, CA
5KavinElangovan3Houston, TX
6NeevShaw3Pearland, TX
7SriyaGomatam3Coppell, TX
8VivinshaVeduru3Keller, TX
9AnjaliChauhan2Edison, NJ
10DhruvSoundarapandian2Henderson, NV
     
SENIOR SPELLING BEE
1NavneethMurali7Edison, NJ
2SaharshVuppala5Bellevue, WA
3NityaKathiravan5Edison, NJ
4HariniLogan5San Antonio, TX
5AtmanBalakrishnan7Hinsdale, IL
6PranavNandakumar8Austin, TX
7DeetyaVuppala5Bellevue, WA
8VayunKrishna6Sunnyvalue, CA
9MeganLynch7Granite Bay, CA
10AryaReddyvari7Pleasanton, CA
     
JUNIOR VOCABULARY BEE
1VivinshaVeduru3Keller, TX
2AveekSarkar2Naperville, IL
3TahanChoudhury3Morrisville, NC
4DhruvSubramanian3Fremont, CA
5SiddharthUmamahesh2Dayton, NJ
6DiyaBalur3Framington, CT
7AbhinavNambi3Sugarland, TX
8AnayGanesh3Gurnee, IL
9RohithKonduri3Norfolk, VA
10NithikaRangan3Elk Grove, CA
     
INTERMEDIATE VOCABULARY BEE
1AkhilsaiDamera7Marlborough, MA
2IshyaBhavsar6Pv, KS
3NityaKathiravan5Edison, NJ
4MeganLynch7Granite Bay, CA
5NehaChelamkuri8Frisco, TX
6YuvanChali8Frontenac, MO
7RanjanaRamesh8N. Chelmsford, MA
8NithyaKrishna8Saratoga, CA
9PranaavSenthilkumar7Schaumburg, IL
10HariniLogan5San Antonio, TX
     
MATH BEE LEVEL 1
1AldenRaymond2Folsom, CA
2AryanShome2Edison, NJ
3AveekSarkar2Naperville, IL
4VedJhunjhunwala2Edison, NJ
5PuranjayMadupu2Chandler, AZ
6RananjayParmar2Rochester, MN
7AnaySahu2Ellington, CT
8AdvaitJoshi1Jersey City, NJ
9SuhasDevarakonda2Chantilly, VA
10NirdvaitaChandrana2Whitestown, IN
     
MATH BEE LEVEL 2
1ZubinTalwar4Seattle, WA
2SuvamKonar5Westerville, OH
3VishnuMangipudi5Bellevue, WA
4SohilRathi5San Jose, CA
5AdvaithMopuri5Fremont, CA
6JiyaSingla5Springfield, IL
7HariniVenkatesh5Plano, TX
8ShrutodheeGoswami5Austin, TX
9AdritaSamanta5Medford, MA
10KesavKalanidhi4Raleigh, NC
     
MATH BEE LEVEL 3
1BhushanMohanraj7Charlotte, NC
2NilayMishra8Saratoga, CA
3RitwinNarra6San Jose, CA
4ShaanKeole7Scottsdale, AZ
5GarimaRastogi7Concord, NH
5ShreevGoyal7Austin, TX
7AkshayKumar8Canton, MA
8AahanMehra8Lexington, MA
9RohithRaghavan6Sharon, MA
10SukrithVelmineti8Cary, NC
     
JUNIOR GEOGRAPHY BEE
1Lakshya PradhyayVeguru2Bellevue, WA
2SiddhuNagarajan3Bridgewater, NJ
3RishikKundu3Chelmsford, MA
4PranavKuchibhotla2Morrisville, NC
5YashJaju3La Canada Flintridge, CA
6JohnAlex2San Diego, CA
7SiddhanthKumar2Westport, CA
8DhruvSubramanian3Fremont, CA
9AaradhyaPradhan3Columbia, MD
10AdvaitDuvvuru2Fremont, CA
     
SENIOR GEOGRAPHY BEE
1KaylanPatel7Windermere, FL
2SatvikPochiraju5Lewis Center, OH
3JishnuNayak6Dublin, CA
4AdityaNarayanan7Germantown, TN
5AaronCastelino6Morrisville, NC
6AshmithKumbala7Irving, TX
7SreesragveeAtluri7Mccordsville, IN
8AvnithKumar6Jefferson City, MO
9AdrijaKundu8Edison, NJ
10NirmalMelam4West Des Moines, IA
     
SENIOR ESSAY WRITING
1RishiNair9Seffner, FL
2AvyaySurampalli11Aurora, IL
3SuhaniBalachandran10Morganville, NJ
4AishaniSaxena10Overland Park, KS
5AnishaAtre9Morganville, NJ
6BharathanSundar10Southboro, MA
7AbigailThomas9Nashua, NH
8AdityaVargheese11Overland Park, KS
9SamarjitKaushik10Redmond, WA
10SreeyaRakasi10Reston, VA
     
SENIOR PUBLIC SPEAKING
1RajveerKindra10Cypress, TX
2AvyaySurampalli11Aurora, IL
3SuhaniBalachandran10Morganville, NJ
4HrushikeshSaranu9Austin, TX
5RishiNair9Seffner, FL
6AleenaHaris11Issaquah, WA
7AryaanJena9Morris Plains, NJ
8AishaniSaxena10Overland Park, KS
9AmirHameed9Westborough, MA
10AnishaAtre9Morganville, NJ
     
SENIOR BRAIN BEE
1AryanVerma11Oiverland Park, KS
2GowriKamma10Round Rock, TX
3PriyankaSenthil10Reno, NV
4AdhvikaArunkumar10Londonderry, NH
5AjayPathakamuri10Columbus, GA
6ShreyaMogulothu9Plainsboro, NJ
7SreenikethVogoti10Saint Johns, FL
8AyushNoori11Issaquah, WI
9IshanPanpaliya9Sammamish, WA
10DeboshriKanjilal9Olathe, KS
     
JUNIOR SCIENCE BEE
1RajarshiMandal3Lexington, MA
2MayaHulyalkar3Buffalo Grove, IL
3AldenRaymond2Folsom, CA
4Sai SamhithKota2Austin, TX
5AnikaMalyavanatham3Hillsboro, OR
6DhruvSubramanian3Fremont, CA
7NavitaMishra3Tampa, FL
8SiddarthSankar3Collegeville, PA
9AryanPadarthi3Allen, TX
10TahanChoudhury3Morrisville, NC
     
INTERMEDIATE SCIENCE BEE
1AnandSwaroop4Malden, MA
2HariniVenkatesh5Plano, TX
3ArushGoswami5Wilsonville, OR
4ShrutodheeGoswami5Austin, TX
5RijulAshar5Monroe Township, NJ
6AnishKodali4White Plains, NY
7KaranVerma4Overland Park, KS
8SohilRathi5San Jose, CA
9KriviPartani4Princeton Junction, NJ
10SahasraYellepeddi5Allen, TX
     
SENIOR SCIENCE BEE
1RoshniParulekar-Martins8Sunnyvale, CA
2VishnuMangipudi5Bellevue, WA
3SukrithVelmineti8Cary, NC
4IlanchezhianPalpandian8Chantilly, VA
5VedangSinghal8Cary, NC
6Chegu VijayAashray7Redmond, WA
7RohanVenkatesh7Lexington, MA
8SahanaBehera7Lexington, MA
9BalaadithyaMuralitharan6Omaha, NE
10SamyanNakkella8Collegeville, PA
     
INTERMEDIATE BRAIN BEE
1MadhalasaIyer8Plano, TX
2AumJhaveri7Katy, TX
3SriramKutty8Redmond, WA
4AjaytejaKavuri6Aurora, IL
5VigneshAnand8Frisco, TX
6ShrutiChakrapani8Nenaah, WI
7KarthikPyneni8Framington, CT
8DiyaPendyala7Sunnyvale, CA
9RakshitBisoi7East Windsor, CT
10RidhayPasupuleti8Chesterfield, NJ



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