Congratulations to Flinn Scholar Ananya Lakhotia!

Congratulations to Flinn Scholar Ananya Lakhotia!

Our very own Knight, Ananya Lakhotia, recently received The Flinn Scholarship, which covers tuition, fees, housing, and meals at one of Arizona’s public universities. It allows scholars to reach their potential in academics, creativity, and leadership, and they will truly be able to make a difference in their communities. The Flinn Scholars Program consists of some of the most achieved and disciplined students in the state, and the opportunity supports students in creating a change in their own communities. We are so happy to announce that Ananya is a Flinn Scholar, and we are so proud of all that she has achieved in her high school career. I was able to interview Ananya about her achievements and inspirations and how she was able to win this scholarship.

Q: How did you hear about the Flinn Scholarship?

A: In my freshman year we actually had two Flinn scholars, and I remember sitting in the gym when Mr. Bickes announced it and just thinking how cool it was that they had done so much and had such an amazing high school experience to get awarded a scholarship like that. After that, all Flinn kind of became a myth because we thought only someone who’s done something out of this world could get it. You’d have to cure cancer or save thousands of animals from extinction, but we all applied just to give it a shot anyway.


Q: What does this scholarship mean to you? 

A: The Flinn Scholarship means a lot to me. On one hand, it gives me a lot of hope for my future because I know I’ll be surrounded by incredible people and get to witness a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. On the other hand, it’s really satisfying because it’s nice having tangible proof that the last four years of hard work meant something.

Q: How did you apply for it? What was the process of receiving it? 

A: It’s actually a super long process! It started out with the standard written application in October with essays and letters of rec and all that. Then we went through two interviews, one for the semifinalist stage and one for finalists, and in between had three college weeks for the in-state schools. And then in March or April, I got the call from the Vice President of the foundation to let me know I was a recipient! I wish I had more details about receiving it but honestly, when I got the call, I was so overwhelmed my mind just went completely blank.

Q: What are your plans for college? 

A: Currently, I plan on double majoring in biochemistry and justice studies. I’ll throw a psych minor in there if I have the time and ability. I’m really hoping to get involved in a lot of clubs and activist groups on campus so I can make a change in the areas I believe in.

Q: What is one memory you will remember forever about your time here at ACP? 

A: One memory I don’t think I can forget if I tried is kayaking with my best friend on Catalina Island during our AP Bio trip. It was a whole disaster in every way you can imagine but when I look back on it now it’s probably the funniest situation I’ve ever been in.

Q: What are some of the defining moments of your high school years? 

A: Definitely joining the speech and debate team, my first test in my AP psychology class, and the start of the pandemic.

Q: What advice or suggestions do you have for us to keep improving the high school experience for those students who will be following you? 

A: I think we, as a school, really need to start focusing on the mental health of the students. I feel like a lot of kids get caught up in always trying to be the best or reach the next goal or being “extraordinary” and that can be really tiring. That plus a constantly increasing workload is a recipe for burnout. My best piece of advice would be to sit down and take a breather. Don’t get so stressed out over every little detail or project because it’s not perfect or you didn’t do as well as you wanted to, recognize that you did the best that you could at that moment and be okay with that. I definitely learned that the hard way.

Q: How do you intend to use what you have learned in high school to benefit you as you go through life? 

A: I think the attitude I gained toward working and learning from my mistakes is something I’ll take forward with me.

Q: Who or what was the most helpful or influential to you in your high school career, both in school and outside of school? 

A: I think the most helpful thing in my high school career was the support I got. I had some really amazing teachers in school that I could tell wanted the best for us as students and looked out for us. Outside of school, I had a really supportive family, and now I have the best friend group I could’ve asked for. Their little actions of support went a long way.

Thank you so much, Ananya. for speaking with me. We all wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Go Knights!