Karan Mirpuri is the Gulliver Prep Silver Knight nominee for General Scholarship. Mirpuri’s community service project for his Silver Knight application was Together We Innovate.
The project was put together in collaboration with Breakthrough Miami, an academic program that works with students from underperforming schools.
“Basically, we organize sessions on Saturday to teach the kids lessons in the STEM field,” he says.
The Together We Innovate members write curriculum for the Breakthrough kids in the areas of health, forensics, computer science (coding) and engineering.
“I helped co-found this club my junior year,” he says. “This year we are doing it again and I’m the director of the health strand of the club.”
The curriculum they’ve written covers a variety of topics, anything from nutrition to hygiene to the different body systems.
“We try to make it more hands on. Sometimes we do dissections,” he says. “We’ve had brain dissection in order to study nervous system.”
They teach about six Saturdays per year. Mirpuri tries to take part in as many Saturdays as possible but during water polo season he isn’t always able to go to the non-STEM sessions.
“In the fall and in the winter, I work on going to regular Breakthrough and develop the STEM program,” he says.
There are several Breakthrough schools throughout the county, so they are working to make the STEM program available to all of them. They are using the booklets used to teach the curriculum for the Health Information Project as a model on how to present their curriculum.
Mirpuri is innovative on his lesson development. His sophomore year he participated in a HOSA competition in the Health Education category. He turned around and used information from the competition for a lesson.
Through the Health Education Awareness Leaders (HEAL) Club, he participated in two HOSA competitions and qualified for the state contest twice. This year he’s president of HEAL, which not only competes in HOSA events, but they also conduct two blood drives a year and collect health supplies that are donated to victims of human trafficking.
He’s been playing water polo sine sixth grade and joined the varsity team as a freshman. He became a full-time starter as a sophomore. Since sophomore year he’s been a member of the Gulliver swim team as conditioning for water polo. He usually swam the 100 breaststroke.
So far, Mirpuri has been accepted into Purdue, the University of Michigan and the University of Miami for bio-medical engineering, Emory for Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology, and Vanderbilt.
This past summer, Mirpuri participated in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute program that sends high school students into research labs. Mirpuri worked in an ophthalmology lab at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, processing data for a study on the layers of the retina. At the conclusion of the program, he and a lab partner wrote up and presented a report to University of Miami Faculty.
He’s co-president of the Charitable Arts Club. Club members go to an Overtown elementary school once a quarter to paint with the kids. Some of that art work is put on greeting cards and holiday notes, which are sold at art events and at Gulliver. The proceeds are put back into the school for its art program. For the past three years, Charitable Art members have designed the set for the elementary school’s winter musical.
For fun, he’s a member of the Gulliver Geography Bee Club.
“We meet weekly and prepare for the geography competition for the Independent Schools of South Florida that happens in March,” he says.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld