Hindu student thrives at O’Connell

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Srijan Bhasin, 17, is poised for success. The Bishop O'Connell senior and 2015 class valedictorian, is scheduled to attend the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the fall to study chemistry. He then plans to go to medical school to earn a medical degree and a doctorate to balance research and clinical work.

Bhasin is a Hindu who has spent years in Catholic schools, including Corpus Christi School in Falls Church. Although he is not a Christian, the O'Connell community has accepted and embraced him. His Hinduism and his Catholic education present no problems for him.

"I don't see any conflict," he said. "Morality applies to everyone."

He goes to Mass with the students and listens to the homily. When it's time for holy Communion he goes up to the altar with his classmates and receives a blessing from the celebrant.

His father, Tushkar, and mother, Suman, looked for private schools for and chose O'Connell because of the school's academic reputation.

Bhasin has a lot of hobbies, including running, but cooking is one of his favorites. He especially likes to cook fish. He calls it a challenge.

"You have to be confident with your ingredients, and willing to fail," he said.

But failure does not appear to be an option with Bhasin. His academic resume is extensive with participation in O'Connell's Global Studies Certificate program, and attendance at the 2013 Virginia Governor's School for Math, Science and Technology at Lynchburg University, a summer program for gifted students.

In addition to earning great grades, Bhasin participates in cross country and track. He also finds time to volunteer at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, helping out with administration and patient support; the George Mason Regional Library in Annandale; St. James Church food distribution efforts in Falls Church; and tutoring at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington.

He's on the schools calculus team, It's Academic team and the business analyst team.

When he starts his college career at William and Mary, he will be a 1693 Stamps Leadership Scholar, one of the most competitive scholarships at the school. Bhasin is one of six scholarship winners.

Bhasin's academic success is matched by his accomplishments as a caring human being.

"Srijan is a remarkably bright, kind and compassionate citizen of our school community whose commitment to using his talents to make the world a better place is a wonderful example for everyone," said Joseph E. Vorbach, head of school.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015