Meet ABC7 Top Scholar Sruthi Ramaswami, a student whose political path could lead to leading our country one day. "My name is Sruthi Ramaswami. I live in Los Altos, California. I attend Archbishiop Mitty High School in San Jose and I will be going to the University of Chicago in the fall studying economics."
This top scholar wants to use her skills to make change through political advocacy.
"I'm only 17 and I can't vote yet, but I recognize that there's a place for me in the political process and that is through advocacy and lobbying our legislators," she said.
Sruthi says the lack of civic engagement with her peers prompted her to create the first student-run political group in California, the Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP).
"We have a voice... there's a lot of youth in this area, why don't we come together and impact change on the issues that mean the most to us?" says Sruthi. "It's a lot about taking what I'm so blessed to have and sharing that with the people around me who don't get it."
Sruthi's chosen path is to someday make those policy decisions herself, maybe even holding a power position at San Francisco City Hall and eventually the White House. "President of the United States. It's a stretch right now, but definitely after college, after a few years of work, I'd probably want to get involved in the political scene. Start from the bottom and work my way up to the top," she says.
"A person like Sruthi is what the country needs," says Archbishop Mitty High School teacher Michael Acorsi. "I mean people ask all the time why are we gridlocked as a partisanship, what is it? I think it's to some degree a failure of courage, a failure of leadership, and Sruthi's the type of person who would not shy away from that."
This straight-A student and teen advocate has already made a name for herself in the political realm, serving as chair of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's student advisory board and interning for the state government. "I know what I want and I work to get it," she says.
Sruthi also takes time to hone her vocal skills. "I have been learning South Indian classical music since I was 6 years old," she says. "Every time you sing you become better at what you're singing."
Sruthi has the same outlook on the tennis court. She's played on Mitty's varsity team since her freshman year. "It's really been very, very helpful in terms of helping me with leadership skills."
She plans to play at the collegiate level as well, another challenge she can't wait to tackle. "Whether it's tennis or music or talking to a legislator, it's a challenge in front of me and it really just becomes a game -- how am I going to use my skills to get through that challenge," she says.
Congratulations to Sruthi Ramaswami for her amazing accomplishments.
Join ABC7 on Sunday, June 17, at 10 a.m. for a half-hour special on all seven of our top scholars this year.