Joshua Sujith of Shreveport dreams of studying engineering at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. When asked why Notre Dame, he said, “It’s a Catholic college and a good engineering school.” And then he chuckled, “If I get bored, they’ve got a good football team.” When it was pointed out that LSU recently hired the Notre Dame Head Football Coach, his mom suggested Joshua may be going to the wrong college. Joshua offered no reaction since LSU is not on his college radar. But Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech are. He’s already been accepted at Tech.
The University View Academy Senior is on pace to graduate in May at age 17 with his Associates Degree. He’s taken only Dual Enrollment courses the past two years. Joshua says, so far, his favorite DE course is Calculus with UVA teacher Dr. Daniel Guillot. “I didn’t do well in it. I got a “B,” he stated flatly. What he liked most about the course was Dr. Guillot’s approach. “His live session was a lecture style. I never had that with instructors before. It was easier to understand,” Joshua explained. His mom, Jini Grace, added, “The teacher treated them as high school students, not college kids.”
COVID-19 is no factor regarding Joshua’s schoolwork, but it set back his quest to become an Eagle Scout. His service project was clearing trails of debris and adding signage in a state park. But the pandemic forced the closing of the park. So, Joshua found a new project in Hot Springs, Arkansas, about a three-hour drive from where he lives. He is providing protection for migrating ducks. The ducks build their nests at ground level and can be destroyed by lawnmowers. Joshua makes special wooden boxes to fit atop the nests, so lawnmowers go around them. “It’s big enough for adults and their ducklings,” he explained. It takes about three hours to build the boxes, and he uses his math skills in the process.
Joshua is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, or CAP, the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and occupations. He has flown in various aircraft but was noncommital about becoming a pilot.
Joshua admits to being an introvert. He’s quiet, shy, and humble about his academic achievements. Joshua began at UVA in the 2nd grade and was later designated a gifted student. He skipped the 7th grade. Joshua’s highest score on the ACT is 34 out of 36. “I just learned the fundamentals and was able to grasp them,” is his explanation. He also gave credit for his academic success to how UVA offers flexible and individualized instruction. “You can do school as you want. You can interact with the teacher and other students or do it on your own,” he offered. His mom echoed that sentiment. “You make it want you want. He could advance at his own pace,” she explained. “We love this school,” she gushed. His sister, Theresa, also attends UVA in the 6th grade.