On the Record
Nov 17, 2009 | 19376 views | 0 0 comments | 471 471 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The future looks bright for outstanding student and philanthropist Sumit Pal. Born in India, Pal grew up in Queens and was fascinated by computers and technology since the age of ten. As a testament to his hard work, the 17-year-old recently received the Student Leader of the Year Award from Junior Achievement of New York.

“When I was about ten years old and I received my first computer, I was amazed,” he said. “I wanted to learn about the insides and the outsides, what made it work, and what it did. That’s why I wanted to go to Information Technology High School.”

And that he did, where he excelled through the Junior Achievement Program, a non-profit organization trough which he became a Student Ambassador. The student ambassador role involves helping students develop leadership skills through financial literacy.

Pal, who is also an Apple-certified technician, believes that financial literacy and leadership skills are linked because once a person achieves their personal goals, they should help others achieve theirs.

“Once someone has become a successful entrepreneur, it’s important to give back to the community,” he said. “To make the world a better place and to change people’s lives is important.”

Pal, who considers his Student of the Year Award his biggest accomplishment, was deeply affected by the Junior Achievement program and hopes that it will continue to affect students throughout the country, as it did for him.

“Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and motivate students to succeed in a global economy, and more people should support this program,” he said. “Without them, there would be no organization trying to help the youth of tomorrow try to create a brighter future.”

Pal is currently studying computer engineering at NYU Polytechnic and says he can’t wait to delve more deeply into his studies.

“I want to learn the things that would enable me to go out there in the business world and make a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “I want to get the basic knowledge I need to be able to do that; to become an entrepreneur.”

(Kayla Borg)

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