Dhruv Gaur, a senior at Lakeview Academy, has been named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. He is the only Hall County student on the list.
He wants to study biology and health sciences with an eye toward working in public policy or journalism, and he has applied to several Ivy League schools. He said Princeton is his first choice, but all of the schools he has applied to would help him study the subjects that are his passions.
Gaur said “the health care industry is not very accessible” to patients, and he hopes to help people better understand what’s going on with their bodies and how to react to it.
He is excited about the opportunity to be in the running for merit-based financial help in pursuing his college education.
The National Merit Scholarship Program “is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955,” according to the program’s website. Gaur is one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists, and about 15,000 are expected to be named finalists in February. The finalists will compete for 7,500 scholarships worth about $33 million.
Dhruv, son of Swati and Abhishek Gaur, also scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT exam. In addition, he has scored 5s — the top score — on eight Advanced Placement exams and is taking five other AP courses this semester.
Both of his parents are doctors, and he said seeing their success has been “an inspiration.”
Dhruv also participates in literary and academic bowl competitions, soccer, swimming and cross country. He takes piano lessons and participates in competitions, volunteers at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and is a lab assistant in the school’s biology and chemistry labs.
He has a younger brother, Garv, who is in seventh grade at Lakeview.
Dhruv said last school year he would go every Wednesday to the New Horizons Limestone nursing home and play piano for about an hour each time, calling it one of the most rewarding volunteering experiences for him.
He said his goal-oriented nature has helped him grow from being one of the slower runners on the JV team when he first started running cross country to being a captain on a strong team as a senior.
Dhruv said he hopes his variety of activities will make him stand out among other students with similarly high test scores.
“It’s important to work outside of your comfort zone, test your limits and become a more well-rounded person,” he said.