School News

Gateway Dehiwala Head Girl wins Zonta International Award

Thursday, 23rd of May 2024

Vyshalini Rajendran, a student of Gateway College, Dehiwala, was awarded the Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) award in District 25 after competing with counterparts from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. This recognition highlights her leadership skills, academic excellence, and commitment to public service. Zonta International, a global organisation dedicated to empowering women through service and advocacy, grants the YWPA award to young women aged 16-19 who demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership in public policy, government, and volunteer organisations.

Established in 1990 by Leneen Forde, Zonta has given 1,091 awards, US$1,488,750, to 919 young women from 61 countries. Vyshalini, an 18-year-old preparing for her Advanced Levels, stands out in her academic achievements and active participation in extracurricular activities. She has been an influential leader, serving as the school’s Head Prefect and excelling in roles such as the chair of several Model United Nations conferences, president of the Broadcasting Unit, vice president of the General Knowledge Club, and captain of the Debating Society and vice-captain of her athletics house.

Academically, Vyshalini ranks among the top two of her batch, having secured 12 level 9s in her Edexcel IGCSE examinations alongside a World Prize for Information and Communication Technology and three ‘A’s in her Advanced Subsidiary Examinations. She has been recognised as a High Achiever multiple times at the Pearson Edexcel Awards ceremony and school awards days. Her passion lies in Computer Science and Psychology and this is evident through her research work and volunteer service, including coauthoring a research paper on the Evolution of 5G Technology, delivering a TEDx talk on Human- Interactions mirrored through computer interfaces and leading a team to the finals in the Microsoft Tech for Good Challenge.

“Our school culture truly nourishes us to become better and bolder human beings. At Gateway we are bound by an appetite to express. From code to calligraphy, piano to poetry, drama to diplomacy we are constantly challenging ourselves to think and reason. Through such experiences, be it across grades, departments or even branches, we are also driven to form tight-knit bonds among our peers and staff,” Vyshalini said. Her involvement in MUN and debating has provided her with a global perspective on current issues. Vyshalini’s contributions extend beyond academics and leadership; she is also deeply committed to community service. Using her knowledge of computer science, photography and videography, she has conducted workshops and mentored young individuals who share her passion in these fields.

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