MACON, Ga. — This week we're highlighting the Great Grads around Central Georgia. The grad we're celebrating today is an athlete, an academic, and a polyglot.
Central High School senior Sushrith Panda made the move to the Peach State from India when he was 9-years-old. He skipped 4th and 8th grade, entered high school at 12, and is now graduating at 16!
"Wow, Panda was only 12-years-old... I recall him walking in the hallway. He was only 12-years-old, but he was fearless," said principal Chendra Dupree.
Panda started his U.S. education journey in Bibb County Schools and even though he moved here from India, language was no issue.
"Back when I was in India, I was in an international school and English was their primary language, but they taught us two other languages, so right now I can speak about four languages, If I count French, then that's five," said Panda.
Being multi-lingual is just one of the 16-year-old's many accomplishments. In his four years at Central, he's earned more than 37 college credits, played varsity soccer, ran varsity cross country, played varsity football, and is celebrating being a top student in his class.
"I do have the highest SAT score at Central. That means I'm named the star student," said Panda.
Because of his dedication and focus, more than 40 colleges and universities across the country wanted him, but Georgia stayed on his mind.
"Med school is my primary focus, so I needed a school that would prepare me for that. Georgia Tech stats for med school are pretty good; 80-90% of biomedical students make it to med school," said Panda.
While he's proud of all he's achieved, he says he's thankful for the classmates who pushed him to do more.
"That is my most valuable lesson: Finding your group of friends and finding each others' strengths and weaknesses so you can help each other out and catapult into college," said Panda.
He's also close to $1 million in scholarship money for college.