Alumni Stories

OOB

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Srijesh Sajit
Class of 2013
Currently with Disney + Hotstar

After securing a job at one of the Big Four firms during my final year of college, it wasn’t difficult to understand how and why that had happened. In addition to contextual knowledge, there was something about my demeanour that helped me put my strongest and most confident face forward, ready to take up any challenge with a smile. It wasn’t something that sprouted one fine day; it was the result of all those years spent at my alma mater.

That day, I paused to think about our teachers, who have devoted quite many years of their lives in the service of education. Their contributions have played a monumental role in shaping who we are as individuals and our roles in society. From VI-M to XII-A, I’ve had the good fortune of being taught and mentored by over 40 teachers; most of who have left a lasting impression on me.

But as Paulo Coelho once said, “People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” Today, as I pen this note seven years after leaving school, a lot of what my teachers said makes sense. For every teacher that has taken time out of their lives to instill in me lessons thatI'll never forget, I thank you. Even as I explore new horizons in my career, I try to stop, celebrate every little triumph, look back with much gratitude and move forward with courage and conviction – the essence of the core values learnt at OOB.

 As I conclude this note by humming our school song, I take a moment to remember all my teachers, the ancillary staff, my peers and our journey to lead kindly light.

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Dr. Pranav Rajasekharan
Class of 2014 , President -Student Council,2013-14
Currently working in Kasturba Medical College,Manipal and preparing for Post Graduation Entrance.

Having spent all my 14 years of schooling in Our Own English High School, Sharjah, Boys’ Branch, I can confidently say that it has taught me how to be a respectful, responsible, confident and compassionate individual. 

I was fortunate enough to have some really wonderful teachers, who played an integral part in moulding me into the person I am today. Be it Academics or Extra-curricular activities, they made sure I never backed out from any opportunity, right from the beginning. It is for this reason that I always try and pay a visit to school every time I make a trip to the UAE, just so that I can meet some of my teachers who’re still around.

Having said that, the three things on the top of my head that I‘ll always be grateful to my school for: 1) Helping me understand and grow upon my passion for singing. Be it the Annual School Concerts, or the different Intra and Inter-school competitions, they were some truly memorable times. 2) Giving me the chance to serve as the President of the Student Council in the Academic Year 2013-14. This personally helped me grow a lot as a person and a leader. I got the opportunity to work with some really amazing people and it definitely taught me how to work well as a team. 3) Amidst all this, making sure I don’t lose track of my Academics, which is what eventually helped me decide the career path I wanted to take. 

I finished my MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, India, in the year 2020. I’m currently working under the same hospital, while I prepare for my Entrance Examination for my Post-Graduate Specialty Training.

Lastly, I wish to thank OOB for giving me some really great friends. I’ve had some amazing memories both in and out of school thanks to them, which I’ll forever cherish.

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Karthik Nair
Class of 2014, President, Literary Club
Currently pursuing MA Multimedia Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

If all our lives are a journey, then our school and its teachers are to be seen as the wise old man. “Wise old man” is an archetype, and archetypes form the basis of Carl Jung’s psychotherapy. So, how does Our Own English High School, Sharjah –Boys’ fall under this archetype?

There weren’t multiple wise old men to confuse me and create Frostian diverging roads. There was just a clear path.

That’s not to say this path was always clear. I, like most Indian boys, started my journey with a passion for science. While that passion has not been completely dulled out, OOB helped me realise that that was not where I was destined to be. This came in form of constant encouragements from my teachers to pursue my then subtle interest in writing.

However, this subtlety gained prominence in secondary school as years of writing taught me that I was meant for it. I was voted the Secretary of the Literary Club in 2012 and went onto become the President the following year. This fuelled my desire to opt for humanities as opposed to the sciences. Thanks to my teachers, my evolution into an Arts enthusiast was more than just absolute.

As anybody who has read Hegel would tell you, the absolute is more complex than it seems, and doubts always creep into one’s mind. However, because of the wise old man namely OOB, these doubts were easily eradicated as the encouragements and efforts that I put in school cut through them like a hot knife on butter.

I pursued Humanities and decided to become a journalist. Subtle nods given by the staff such as “you are observant” or “inquisitive, aren’t you?” with my developed passion for writing helped me arrive at this decision. This decision led to me currently running online news portals in Manchester, interning at Gulf News, Dubai, Youth Incorporated, Mumbai and other organisations, creating efficient stories and packages for broadcast, online and print.

I am also actively exploring new topics like the status of minority languages in the UK, for my Master dissertation. I hope to get employed in a news organisation where I can use my skills to bring the right stories to the public for better transparency. This goal would not have been possible without the guidance of the wise old man and the opportunities presented by him.

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Raj Dhavalikar
Head Boy
Class of 2016
Currently working as Rotational Development Associate at MetroNet Inc.

A student can go on forever if he is asked to tell how his school made him the way he is now. The 10 years that I spent at OOB were made very memorable by many people. My teachers, who I am so grateful for, helped me grow academically and also introduced me to value-adding opportunities both inside and outside school. 

I remember some of my class teachers, who took care of us students just like our parents would, by introducing us to good values and life principles during our interactions at school. These values and principles include integrity, humility, courage, modesty and industry. The simplest yet encouraging words from my teachers brought tremendous change in my life and those words continue to help me even today in the professional world. I remember my 7th grade class teacher, who observed that I was having self-esteem challenges and pointed it to my mother during a parent-teachers meeting. Till today, my mother reminds me of that incident and my teacher’s simple observation helps me to take care of myself, especially during these tough times.

A simple “You can do this son” coming from my math teacher back in Grade 10, had so much power that it pushed me to prepare well for the school’s head boy position. The various leadership positions at school introduced me to the power of influential leadership and the results it can produce when exercised with the right principles. Today, those same leadership experiences at school help us students in this fast-paced professional world. Along with my teachers, I am also grateful to the contributions of the OOB school staff, which also includes our dear bus uncles, that have helped me become a better version of myself.

In May 2020, I graduated from Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and I am working for an organization based in Indiana, USA.

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Arijit Ghosh
Class of 2016
Chartered Certified Accountant and an Auditor with a Big 4  firm

I was but a boy of 3 when I walked into OOEHS Sharjah for the first time in 2002. Little did I know, that over the next 14 years, I would be moulded into the responsible, young and vibrant man that I am today.

The very first thing that struck my mind when I was 3 was how similar the "ma'ams" were to "moms" (and sirs too, not taking away any credit!). And that is something I experienced all through the time I spent there; whether there was pride in my teacher's eyes for an achievement of mine, or admonishment for mischief. Till date, the skills that provide me a livelihood, or the traits that make me a mature person, they all have their roots firmly tied to the foundation of OOEHS Sharjah. The best part was undoubtedly the individualized support at every point. I remember, when I was confused on which stream to pick back in 10th grade, it was the wise advice of the wonderful teachers that helped me decide. I remember when I won medals at university for athletics, that it was the painless perseverance of my coaches back in school that made it possible. I remember when I aced my job interview, that it was because of the social skills I was allowed to develop back in school. 

Today, I'm proud to say that I'm a Chartered Certified Accountant and an Auditor with a Big 4  firm. But I'm even prouder to say that I was once an OOBite. As I pursue my further goals of someday being a professor and a research scholar, I am sure the skills drilled into me during 14 years at OOB will be invaluable. 

The only sad memory I have from school is exiting those doors in 2016. Hopefully I get the opportunity to visit the school someday, when I'm older and wiser. Home is where the heart is.

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Jebin Jose
Class of 2016
Currently passed out from Gregorian College, TVM, finishing BA English Literature with Journalism.

Our Own English High School, Sharjah, Boys’ is not just my school's name, but an emotion. Three years have gone by since I passed out, but still, OOEHS is engraved in my mind in golden letters. From Kindergarten to High School, I have seen my school grow for 14 years, being a part of it. The strong base which I received from OOEHS has shaped my life to a great deal. 

I still remember the school giving us a various  platforms to express ourselves, like  the Talent Day, Battle of the Bands, Sports Day, where such events have surely impacted minds of many students, not only the ones participating, but aIso students who watch them, inspiring them to come forward.  I still miss my teachers, who ofcourse taught us with so much dedication, which I realised a little more only after passing out. The last time when I came to meet my teachers, I could see their eyes gleeming out of happiness, which made my day.  The fourteen years I spent at OOEHS, my home, are still cherished as the best days of my life. 

 I currently passed out from Gregorian College, TVM, finishing BA English Literature with Journalism and served as the Chairman of the student body.  Best wishes to all who are currently studying at OOEHS, may all your dreams come true! 

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Nikhil Shobu Varghese 
Head Boy, Class of 2017
Currently pursuing Mechanical Engineering Degree at NITK Surathkal.

My name is Nikhil Shobu Varghese and I am currently pursuing my mechanical engineering degree at NITK Surathkal.

OOB was instrumental in shaping my formative years as an avid learner, an ambitious dreamer, and an able leader. The skills that I have picked up from OOB I have still used to date. From the OOB Debate Society, I have now risen to the ranks of Debate Society Head here at NITK Surathkal. From being a member of the school's student council, and being the school's Head Boy, I have been invested with multiple leadership responsibilities here at NITK Surathkal as well, such as becoming the class representative for my batch in the mechanical department, the entrepreneurship coordinator in our college's Entrepreneurship Cell, Secretary of Incident 2020, one of the largest cultural fests in South India, witnessing an annual footfall of over 20,000 people annually, and I am also currently the head of on the largest tech and innovation communities on campus, the Indian Society for Technical Education.

 I am currently entering the final year of my degree. I will be applying to MBA programmes in the near future, and have aspirations to start a company of my own soon after my post graduate studies.

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Harshith Belagur
President of Student Council,Class of 2017
Currently pursuing under-graduation in Computer Science at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India.

Hey, I’m Harshith Belagur, and I passed out of OOB in 2017. I’m currently pursuing my under-graduation in Computer Science at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India, and am graduating in 2021. Words fail to describe my journey of 10 years at OOB. Right from the early morning bus rides to the late stay backs for extra classes, waiting for the bells to ring and changing the time on our watch to perfectly sync with it to the perfect second, time ran out quickly, and when I look back now, I'd give anything to go back to those days. As our CEO, Mr. Srivalsan quotes, ‘We entered as boys and left as men’; I came in as a timid and reticent boy in Grade 3 and left the school, an independent and affirmative global citizen serving as the President of the school’s Student Council. OOB has been more than a second home to all of us who’ve been there. The school is a family - the friends, the teachers, the supervisors, the Senior Management Team, and all the support staff. I still remember the first time I participated in an inter-house competition in Grade 7, for which Reena ma’am and Radhika ma’am after listening to me speak had selected me to be on the Neptune house’s debate team. It was one of my first brushes with public speaking, and I haven’t looked back since. It would be an understatement to say that the school has shaped us to be the individuals that we are today. Srivalsan sir, Purshottam sir, Keenan sir, Sindhu Ma’am, Jayashri Ma’am, Faisal sir, Jessy ma’am, Rajashree ma’am, Annie Ma’am, to name a few have been extremely instrumental in grooming the young leaders of tomorrow with their constant support and guidance. I would be remiss not to mention all the other teachers right from Grade 3 to Grade 12 who’ve helped me become who I am today, but unfortunately, the list is too long. To all those of you in school who’re waiting to graduate, trust me, when you leave school, you’ll always be wanting to come back. Long live OOB!

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Chinmay Rajeev Naik
Batch of 2018
Currently pursuing BBA at SP Jain School of Management

“How can a shy, introverted, average student make it in life?” is a question that many of us ask, and I found the answer to it only after stepping into Our Own English High School Boys’. The school has been a part of my support system. Helping me to grow into something much better than I could ever imagine. Encouraging me to be creative and think outside the box through various events like the School Concert and Rangoli Gulf created a pathway for me to create my own content. Giving me the push to speak in front of a large audience and to lead a team. Bringing out the leader and orator within me.

People think school is only about books and exams, but it is way more than that. The teachers at school not only taught us but also guided us without ever losing hope and helped us create a brighter future for ourselves. I am forever in debt towards my teachers, the senior management team, the school’s staff members and my peers for creating a good man out of me.

I am currently entering in my 3rd year of college in SP Jain School of Management as a BBA student. I am in the works of creating my own company *fingers crossed* and I also creating content on YouTube (Like, Share and Subscribe – Amchi Channel). My plan for the future is to keep making my family and alma mater proud. But is this the end of my story?

No, this is just the beginning!

To all the students in school, “GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU CAN TAKE”.

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Amith Bhat Nekkare
Class of 2018

Currently pursuing  Information Technology at NITK,Surathkal.

On 27 March 2018, after completing my Grade 12 Biology exam, a phase of my life was officially over: I was now an ex-student of the Our Own English High School, Sharjah - Boys’ Branch.Now, two years later, I can’t help but fondly reminiscence about my 14 year association with OOB, when I listen to my brother’s online classes and the familiar voices of my teachers emanating from the laptop. Life after OOB has certainly had its ups and downs: from the highs of getting into my dream college, the emotional rollercoaster of my first semester, to loving the college experience, it’s been a wild but fun ride so far. While college is all about taking responsibility for your actions and self-discipline, it is at that institution called school that we learn the meaning and value of those concepts. Indeed, it would not be an over exaggeration to say that school lays a foundation for your later life; quizzing, a hobby of mine borne from my Look Who’s Answering days in school, has evolved into a full-fledged passion - I quiz regularly and have won several competitions at the college level. School, especially in the senior grades, has taught me so much regarding the importance of time management, dedication, and a host of other qualities. As life goes on and we face further challenges, I have come to increasingly appreciate how my teachers used to go out of their way to help me. I now study Information Technology at NITK,Surathkal and will pass out with the batch of 2022. But, whichever institute or organization I am part of in the future, I will always remain a proud OOBite at heart. Let me also take this opportunity to thank all my teachers who played an immeasurable role in my formative years. Thank you!

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Niel Lobo
Sports Captain, Class of 2019
Currently undergoing training to become a Commercial Airline Pilot.

I started my journey at OOB in 2007 as an aspiring student who wished to take up responsibilities and represent the school in major sporting events but little did I know the opportunities that were to come my way would pave the path for me to excel further in life. From inter- house sports selections to captaining the school cricket and table tennis teams to being the school Sports Captain to representing the UAE Under 19 Cricket Team, my journey has indeed been a fruitful one and I’m ever thankful to OOB and all my teachers who played a significant role in my development and paving the way for me to excel in all aspects of life. As I now embark on a new phase of life, I must acknowledge that OOB has always given me a reason to believe that the sky is the limit and that has encouraged me to currently pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a pilot and here I am today representing one of the major airlines in India and undergoing my Ground Training and soon to become a Commercial Airline Pilot. If not for the values OOB has instilled in me, I still wonder what would I be doing today! 

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Joel D’souza
Class of 2019
Currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree at Symbiosis University,Pune.

It’s been a long day, from where we began. From a little boy in grade 1, to a man in grade 12.” Sung by one of the most inspirational individuals of OOB, Keenan Sir, Senior School Supervisor.

My name is Joel D’souza, OOB Batch '19. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree at Symbiosis University, Vimana Nagar, Pune, India. My journey at OOB has been a wonderful experience. A lot of people have asked me what I miss so much about school. Was it having fun with my peers? Interacting with my lovely teachers? Was it always jamming with my friends in the music room? Was it dancing like there’s no tomorrow during our class party? Well, all of the above.

The school has taught me that sky is the limit and anything is possible if you have that burning desire in you. I was a very shy kid until grade 9 and  never used to participate in a lot of events, but if it weren’t for my teachers and friends who have always motivated me, I would never have been what I am today , which is the best version of myself . I am grateful for being a part of the OOB family. I hope to do a lot more things in the field of commerce and OOB has shown me that journey never ends. My life at OOB was always filled with joy and happiness.

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Amaan Iqbal Ibrahim
Head Boy, Class of 2019
Currently pursuing MBBS at KMCT Medical College,Kozhikode.

Greetings OOBites! I'm Amaan Iqbal Ibrahim. I'm an alumnus from the batch of 2019 and I'm here to tell you about my journey. A journey that spanned 14 years. To sum it up, it was a rollercoaster that only went up. Were there points where one would feel scared? Absolutely. But once you get off, unlike a real rollercoaster, you can't get back on. And that's something I'll always miss. My time at OOB. I started from KG1 when we didn't even have a Boys' Branch. If it weren't for the initiative taken by my class teacher back then, I would never have even glimpsed at the field of Public Speaking. And so it began! My tryst with this experience I would soon come to call my family. As the years went on, the opportunities coming my way increased. The school and its inhabitants pushed me. Every single day. To become the best version of myself that I myself never thought I could become. It supported me when I began mobilising students to visit Labor Camps, it helped me spread the message of Social Harmony, projected my opinions through three of the four TEDx Talks I've had the pleasure of speaking at. They opened up the world of theater to me. They placed me on a shield when I won the International Diana Legacy Award, The Sheikh Hamdan Award, The Sharjah Volunteer Worker's Award and a couple of elocution competitions. And they placed their faith in me by electing me Head Boy in 2018. For the better part of 14 years, I woke up every day thinking of how I got to meet those familiar faces every single day. From the bus drivers to the ancillary staff to the teachers, the supervisors, the SMT and of course, our Principal, Mr. Srivalsan Murugan, who I have had the pleasure of working with ever since I stepped into OOEHS back in 2005. I'm currently pursuing MBBS at KMCT Medical College, Kozhikode. Every long holiday I get, I come back to Sharjah. And every time I do, I visit OOB. Sure, the building changed. But a school is much more than bricks and mortar. It's the people inside. And those people, made my life worth living. So to the alumni reading this, I hope I helped you experience OOB once again. To the juniors reading it, I hope I helped you understand how great school life can get. And to the newcomers or parents considering admission, I say this. Take this as a testimonial. If you're looking for a school that cares, and a school which espouses the values you wish to instil in your children, then congrats! You are at the right place. Welcome to OOB. Strap yourselves in for the journey of a lifetime.

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Rajath Krishnan 
Class of 2019
Currently pursuing B.Tech in Media Technology at Manipal Institute of Technology,Karnataka.

Though I was a part of OOB for only 4 years, from class 9 to class 12, those 4 years were an unforgettable joyride. I knew joining Our Own would make me a part of something bigger. Initially the change felt a bit difficult; new campus, new classmates, new teachers, but looking back at it now I feel it happened for the better. 

 I still clearly remember my first ever meeting with Srivalsan Sir during the admission process. The first question he had asked me was “Do you read the newspaper?”. Even though I really didn’t at that time, I said, “Yes sir, I do”. And then he asked me, “You know the election results in Delhi have been just announced, how many seats did Mr. Kejriwal’s AAP win?”. I knew that AAP had won the elections, but I wasn’t really sure how many seats he had won. I knew it was above 65 because all the news channels were saying” It’s a clean sweep!”. With confidence,  I said 67. “Oh, so you do read newspapers!”, he said. I gave him a weird smile. This might sound silly, but this incident is what made me read the newspaper daily and aroused my interest in politics.

My journey in OOB was a beautiful one. I am always thankful to my friends and teachers for all the great memories, advice and for helping me becoming a better person. Without them, life would have been way different. I am proud to say that I am an alumnus of OOB.

Right now, I am a student of B.Tech Media Technology in Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka and have completed my first year of college. I plan to get into sound engineering and eventually become a music producer/composer.

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Karthik Sarma
Class of 2019

Currently pursuing Law at the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, India

My life in school was exhilarating to say the least. Won some, lost a lot; but looking back, every dot connected to create something larger. I owe a significant portion of the character that I carry with me today to my peers and mentors at my school.

For the first few months as an alumnus, the clamor of applying to universities and preparing for entrance examinations had diverted my attention from the fact that my life was about to change drastically. On the 1st of July, the day of my first class as a University Student, everything slowed down and there was this immense feeling of missing.

The months that followed were challenging. Adjusting to a new environment, one that was so different from the place I called home. A new place where, if I needed help or a shoulder to cry on, shouting “Amma!” wasn’t going to help. A new place where if I was falling behind academically, no one was going to ask why. The freedom that this new way of life gifted was hard to grasp, and the freedom constrained me in a lot of ways.

In my opinion, Human Beings are going strong in the Darwinian sense, because we can adapt far better than any of the other species on this planet, and adapt I did.

For the past year I have been working on International Economic Laws along with my coursework; I’ve found joy in it. The primary students that show up in the nearby village school of Mendori, walking miles of dense forest; I’ve found inspiration in them. The smile on my mother’s face when I come back home for holidays; I’ve found satisfaction in it. I’ve found my place now.

For the future, I have no solid plans, just big dreams and aspirations. Forever grateful to my school for a wonderful foundation for the journey that is life.

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Vighnesh Prasad
Class of 2019
Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Theatre at AUS.

 As an OOBite, my journey as a student was shaped by a multitude of experiences and lessons along the way. With supportive teachers and friends at the helm of my overall development as an individual, I was cruising through 14 life changing and memorable schooling years. Being a shy and reticent person by nature, the campus had offered me a myriad of platforms to expose myself to various opportunities that helped me discover my potential in various fields. While academic growth is a principle focus, OOB never fails to engage their students in extracurricular endeavours, which calls for extra trophy cabinets to accommodate the laurels that are brought home. I spent my years gradually taking on the role of an actor, singer, writer and a poet. From Annual Concerts to English Week competitions, my personal extricating from anything physically exerting like athletics, was more than generously compensated for. My ambition to become an English professor was also acknowledged by the institution, by offering me an internship as a part time teacher for three months, upon graduation. OOB has in many ways, enhanced my skillset, knowledge and apart from the basic objectives that academic institutions are compelled to achieve, it has also enabled me to explore my potential at full length and have a solid perception on how to tackle the everyday obstacles that come my way. These experiences have contributed to where I am and what I am doing currently. I am a sophomore at AUS, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Theatre. I am an active part of various theatre productions and with the help of vocal classes and choir, I also participate in recitals and other music events. I am focussed on attaining my goal of becoming an English professor, whilst also dabbling in acting and singing to some degree, hoping to make it big some day. Needless to say, I am indeed indelibly grateful to the rapport that I have built with the students and the faculty members, the off book advices, the mischievous yet unforgettable moments throughout, the failures, the successes, and more at OOB, that has considerably shaped and sculpted who I am and what I do today. I wish my best to all the students at OOB, and also request everyone to take it one day, one moment at a time, and not to stress out so much. Trust me, it is all going to be worthwhile.

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Ahsan Nayaz 
Head Boy, Class of 2020

I joined OOB in 2016. Since then the school has provided me with a suitable environment and the chance to grow which is hard to find in other schools. It's a school that was by the student and for the students, where learning through interactions is believed in and where everyone is treated as equals. I have grown immensely under the care of OOB where I have learnt the necessary skills and gained the experience that I require for my future endeavors. I am truly grateful to OOB and the wonderful teachers it holds for molding me into the person I am today.

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Aryan Krishnan
President of Student Council, Class of 2020

Passionate for the stage I never found myself experiencing a lack of opportunities to hone my skills. From interviews with celebrities, to concerts on human history, to fierce debates and passionate learning. Enriching would be an understatement for my education.

I can still recall the playful nature of our classrooms where the lessons were centered on enjoying the learning experience. From our inter-class competitions to our break time conversations we developed a strong sense for a family.

As a young debater I would often be left in awe watching my senior’s debate. The confidence and intelligence with which they would string together their arguments always left me aspiring to get better. Soon I would get to the point where I was the one preparing for the next debate.

I began my journey in public speaking in the 4th grade. Where I forgot my lines mid speech and blanked out on stage at the inter-school level. But even after that I came back to a school with open arms who said “Do it again!”. Over the course of my time at school I surely did, taking part in more public speaking competitions and learning from my mistakes. Today I’m a Toastmaster, actor, mentor and leader aspiring to dive into the field of software development. Having converted my fear for the stage into a passion for oratory.OOB showed me the stars and taught me how to shine brighter.