Curious about what makes a science bowl champion tick? We have personal insights just for you, from our very own student, Prayrak B.! In fact, Prayrak is not only a science bowl champion but an active community volunteer and a student leader. Let’s see what he has to say about learning in the classroom and beyond.
This interview is Part 7 in our Empowering Activities series. To read more, check out the rest of the series right here! We hope that celebrating our stellar Empowerly students will inspire other high schoolers to reach for the stars.
Prayrak B. is involved in many activities in his high school, such as his participation as the president of the National Science Bowl and National Ocean Science Bowl teams. Together, these teams have won the championship titles at the state level for several years, and also placed within the top 5 at the national level!
Prayrak is also president of a Biology club and an Open Heart Kitchen club. Seeking ways to give back outside the classroom, he is the troop leader for his local Boy Scouting Troop. He and his peers, under Prayrak’s guidance, rallied for local businesses during hard COVID times through the “Project Community Against COVID.”
Prayrak himself is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, with a specialization in cardiology. Exploring these fields, he has done research internships at Stanford in 2021 [Medicine, Department of Pediatrics] and UC Davis in 2022 [Department of Plant Pathology].
Some impressive stats…
All this hard work shows in Prayrak’s accomplishments, which include:
- Academic research training in competitive programs at Stanford and UC Davis
- National Ocean Science Bowl champions (2021) and runners-up (2022)
- and National Science Bowl 3rd place ranking (2021)
- National and State champion in Taekwondo, holds a 3rd degree Black Belt
- Senior Patrol Leader of a Boy Scouting Troop that has nearly 100 members
- Community contributor as a volunteer and leader
Today, we’ll focus on questions about Prayrak’s exceptional experiences and lessons learned from competing in academic challenges. It’s important to celebrate students’ interests and passions, so let’s see what this science bowl champion has to say!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! We are so excited to learn more about you and your amazing work. First…
Empowerly: Which activity(s) do you participate in that makes you feel most empowered, and why?
“Science Bowl competitions,” Prayrak said, “where I get this strong adrenaline rush to answer each question in a limited time. My correct answers are so gratifying and empowering, and my incorrect answers motivate me to try harder next time.”
E: How long have you been doing these activities?
Prayrak said, “Since 4th grade.” A rising senior now, he has been participating in academic competitions for nearly eight years!
E: How did you first discover your passion(s), and when was that?
“In my elementary school, I qualified as a finalist for a Science Olympiad oral round after successfully answering a written test. That was my first experience handling buzzers in a time-bound manner, and it was in front of a hall full of people,” he said. “I found that experience very thrilling, and continued to build on it through middle and high school.”
E: Have you faced any memorable turning points or obstacles along your journey?
“In sixth grade, I wasn’t chosen to be part of the school team, since the seventh and eighth graders in middle school were much better than me. I studied harder, and in seventh grade, our science bowl coach had to choose between me and another eighth grader. He gave us both three months each to give our best. Scores were recorded for each of us in every practice round. It was a nail-biting finish till the very end, but finally, I was able to make it to the school team,” Prayrak said. That team, he shared, “went on to be the runners-up at the national level.”
E: What are your plans for the future (in high school, college, or beyond)?
“I plan to pursue a career in medicine. So, I am applying to colleges for a pre-med course of study and a major in biology.”
E: How has Empowerly helped you move your passions/activities forward?
“Empowerly is helping me find the best college, which fits not just my academic interests, but also provides opportunities for me to stay competitive in extracurricular activities,” Prayrak said.
We at Empowerly love hearing about the diverse interests, impactful accomplishments, and personal successes of students in our community. If you are curious to learn more about activities that will empower your students, we are here! Reach out to book an exploratory call with an Enrollment Expert, and learn more about our program and how we can help.