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The Volition of Vishnu Bharathram

At AES, we have an awesome campus unlike any other. We have great facilities, amazing programs, and activities. Great ways of learning and teaching. An incredible environment. But does this school affect the choices we make and the risks we take? Does it push us?

According to 8th grader Vishnu Bharathram, yes, it does.

Vishnu entered the New York Times Student Editorial Contest, where teenagers were invited to write a concise editorial (450 words or less) in a group or on their own on a topic they care about, and to try and make their point across with their opinions and evidence from at least one New York Times source and one other source. The editorials had to be submitted by April 4. The topics have ranged from reality TV shows, to even the Justice System – Cool!

So Vishnu entered a writing contest. But I’ve entered a dozen different things as well, you might be thinking. What’s that great about that?

How about this: 7,895 entries were submitted for the contest.


Teenagers from all over the world took part in this contest, with different ranges in expertise on writing, but the same passion for getting their voice out on topics like: Is Social Media making us more Narcissistic? and Do Teachers Assign Too Much Homework? Vishnu submitted an entry titled: De-extinction: An Expensive, Futile Distraction, in which he talked about the concept of reviving extinct species and how protecting them would be tremendously wasteful. Click here for Vishnu’s full submission.

Out of the 7,895 entries submitted, Vishnu’s entry made it into the top 100 entries and as a round 3 finalist. His entry was above more than 7,000 entries! Vishnu entered the contest of his own volition. His parents hadn’t even heard of this contest, and Vishnu’s mother, Savi Bharathram, responded to the outcome, tying in AES:

“It is absolutely because of the amazing environment and faculty at AES that kids feel like trying new things, love pursuing their passions…this truly is an incredible school!” – Savi Bharathram

AES affects us and our choices more than we think. Our amazing environment and supporting faculty support us to push ourselves to explore, and build on our passions and pursue them. By embracing the opportunities at AES, we can achieve so much that even a passion for writing and getting your point across can get you higher than almost 7,000 teenagers from around the world!

What Vishnu accomplished proves that our school is a place to discover passion and to support risk taking. Hopefully, soon more people will think of our school this way and begin to accomplish incredible things of their own volition, just like Vishnu.

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