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Lugar award goes to Franklin Central senior

Former senator to recognize teen’s leadership at Dec. 5 symposium


Franklin Central High School student Jasmine Kalia has been selected to receive this year’s Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award, presented annually to an Indiana high school senior by the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis.

A varsity tennis player on track to be valedictorian of the Class of 2016, Kalia will meet the former senator and Nobel Prize nominee Dec. 5 at UIndy’s 39th annual Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders. The event enables top high school juniors from around the state to hear a keynote address from Lugar on world events and to join in expert-led group discussions on pressing public issues.

Kalia, daughter of Vipin and Sangeeta Kalia, was among hundreds of Indiana students who attended last year’s symposium and were invited to apply for the leadership award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. The recipient must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and demonstrate leadership skill and a commitment to serving others.

Known for leadership and service throughout her high school career, Kalia is a member of National Honor Society, president of Franklin Central’s World Cultures Club and head coach and programmer for the school’s successful Auto Flashes VEX Robotics Club, which she has supported with fundraising efforts. She was nominated for the award by the club’s faculty sponsor, physics teacher Richard French III.

“Whether a formally appointed leader … or as an emergent, informal leader, Jasmine will be a leader,” French said in his nomination letter. “It has been a real pleasure watching her take on leadership roles and grow during her time here at FCHS.”

Kalia also has distinguished herself as a community volunteer. Among other efforts, she has served since 2011 with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Museum Apprentice Program, through which she has led educational activities for families and children, assisted in neighborhood cleanups, made presentations on science issues and volunteered in the museum’s Paleontology Lab.

More information on the Richard G. Lugar Academy and the Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders is available at