Senior one of two MWHS students honored as Orange County senior scholar athlete

Sowa Joarder, Contributing Writer

Senior Varsha Jegan was honored as Senior Scholar-Athletes at the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) on June 2. Jegan was honored alongside Monroe-Woodbury senior Derek Li.

Jegan is the co-captain of the Monroe-Woodbury Girls Varsity Tennis Team and, according to the district website, Jegan has received the Co-Most Valuable Player award.

Varsity tennis coach Christopher Vero described Jegan as a hardworking, fair, competitive and friendly person. Playing doubles, Varsha also had to have excellent communication skills with her partners over the years, said Mr. Vero.

Mr. Vero said that this “honor is a prestigious one only given to one female and one male athlete per year. That award is given from the county and takes into account the athletic accomplishments of the student as well as the academic achievements.”

“Varsha was an excellent teammate to all her peers over the years on the high school tennis team,” said Mr. Vero in an email interview. “Varsha had many achievements and accomplishments over years at Monroe-Woodbury but her biggest one in the world of athletics had to be winning the OCIAA Female Scholar Athlete award for Monroe-Woodbury!”

Jegan will attend Barnard College of Columbia University where she hopes to study Mathematics and Economics. According to Jegan, she chose to go to Barnard because she loved the campus and there are so many opportunities to take classes in Columbia.

Along with the athletic achievements, Jegan also was in National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Chamber Orchestra. She was the Vice President of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and also the Vice President of INTERACT. She was the member of LEAD (Leadership, Empowerment, Advocacy, Dedication) and the officer of STAR Public Relationship.

Jegan got the award for Outstanding Achievements in Science. According to Jegan, the topic of her research for the high school scientific research program was “the amount of gluten consumption in relation to the development of type 2 diabetes.”

Jegan also stated that she works as a teen volunteer at Monroe Free Library, serves as a youth member of the Woodbury Community Ambulance Corp, and volunteers at YMCA’s Camp Wee Discover.

According to the Interim Principal Ms. Hock, Jegan has always been a high achieving student. With a GPA of 99.76, Varsha is ranked fifth in her class. Her impressive grades represent only a fraction of Varsha’s achievements, claimed Ms. Hock.

“Varsha is not only one of the most well-rounded students I have ever met, but one of the kindest as well. With a constant smile on her face, Varsha represents everything that is right about Monroe-Woodbury,” said Ms. Hock.

Playing tennis, reading books and dancing are Jegan’s hobbies. She has taught Kathak and Bollywood dance to younger students.

“Dance has been a really big part of my life,” said Jegan, whochas been dancing since she was five years old. She does Kathak at the Ashrams and Bollywood dance in many cultural programs. Jegan hopes to join the Indian dance team at Barnard College.

Jegan said her dad inspires her the most. She claimed her parents supported her in whatever she wanted to do and never forced anything upon her.

“My parents are my main motivator. Everything I do is for them,” said Jegan.

Jegan said she loved her high school journey. At the beginning it was hard but now she can look back and say that she does not regret anything. She learned to be herself and not to rely on others throughout her high school experiences.

“You have to be your own person,” said Jegan. “You can’t think about what others are doing and try to fit in. Because that is best for you.”

“We are very proud of Varsha for recently being honored as the 2022 recipient of the prestigious OCIAA Senior Scholar Athlete Award. We are sure that the awards will keep coming for this amazing student-athlete,” said Ms. Hock.