Varsha Venkatram: Compassionate, Considerate, Diligent

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Varsha Venkatram, ’21

Sitting quietly, watching the TV, or watching Youtube are all common pastimes of the typical student. But for Varsha Venkatram, this is a rare moment. Varsha Venkatram is an amazing, determined, and enthusiastic leader. Varsha is the senior class president, leader of the book club, an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, and a literature enthusiast. She loves the students and instructors at OHS. She is an approachable, amicable, and an awesome person to get to know. 

Varsha currently lives in San Jose with her parents and older brother. She enrolled at OHS as a part-time freshman, switching to full time as a sophomore. As a senior, she’s taking Advanced Topics in Biological Research, Study of the Mind, Advanced Topics in Literature, CRA, Calculus C, and Leadership. For her favorite thing about OHS, Varsha says, “The people are my favorite thing about OHS – that I am able to meet so many people around the world that I never would have met if not for OHS.” She enjoys learning with like-minded peers and teachers who are excited to be in class and teach. 

Varsha is very talented and achieved: from books to gymnastics – she knows it all. Varsha was a Junior Olympic gymnast until age 13. At 5, she started learning Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance, working her way to her solo performance last year. She now teaches Bharatnatyam to younger students. She currently works with a nonprofit to serve and feed the homeless. She is also a peer tutor and an ambassador at OHS. 

Along with all of these activities, she is also the leader of the book club. The inspiration to start the club came about during [email protected] when she and a few other students gathered to read on the lawn together. They sat and read for about an hour and then discussed their books. Based on this environment, Varsha decided to start the OHS Book Lovers Club. However, running the Book Club has not always been easy. During the first semester last year, Varsha struggled to get participants to join on a weekly basis. So, she came up with an interesting solution. She sent out a poll to see what kind of activities people would be interested in doing. Based on the poll, she designed activities for every club meeting to keep up the interest. From this experience, Varsha not only learned about holding people’s interest but also that not everything can be perfect: things were bound to go wrong. Now, she accepts problems, deals with them head-on, and moves forward with her plans. 

As the leader of the Book Club, Varsha has recommended some books for the OHS Community: The Name of the Wind, The Nightingale (A World War II Historical Fiction Novel), Pride and Prejudice, and Half the Sky (a nonfiction novel on the modern oppression of women), and the Infernal Devices Series. Varsha has also worked with the Literature club and her friends to create Instructor Spotlights.

Outside of the book club, Varsha participates in Ethics Bowl.   Varsha is also the senior class president for this year. As class president, she hopes to increase the communication between students and the administration. The increased communication would allow the administration to be able to plan events that students are even more interested in. “More surveys and polls would be great to see what students would want to be doing with their time,” says Varsha.

To be able to fit all of these things into one’s schedule and still find time to relax and chill show incredible dedication and time management skills. With her skills from leading the Book Club and her dedication to her work, Varsha hopes to be an amazing senior president and plans to make this year marvelous.