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Northland's Deepesh Giri Graduates With 57 College Credits To His Name

May 21, 2021 -- Eighteen-year-old Deepesh Giri is at the top of his class at Northland High School. Not only is he Northland's valedictorian, but by the time he walks across the stage in June, he will have earned 57 college plus credits while in high school in two pathways: Engineering and Business.

"My parents want me to be a doctor," said Giri, "but being a surgeon is too much pressure for me. Plus, I don't like blood." 

Instead, Giri wants to use his love of computer science, engineering, and biotechnology to create something that saves lives. 

"Maybe I can build a prosthetic to help someone who can no longer walk because they lost their leg," said the 18-year-old senior. "Or maybe I could create a vaccine. I want to do something that helps people live better lives." 

The death of Giri's uncle was impactful on this teenager's life. It's one of the reasons he's passionate about caring for the ill and infirmed. 

"A year and a half ago, my uncle passed away because his liver failed," said Giri. "I felt helpless and wished that I could do something." 

Deepesh Giri was born in Nepal in a refugee camp. His parents were imprisoned, and that's why they decided to leave India. Giri's family first settled in a refugee center in Twin Falls, Idaho.

"Even though I was only six years old, and my parents shielded me from the outside world, I didn't like Idaho very much," said Giri. "People would protest outside the refugee center because we were there. Seeing and hearing those protests was hurtful. When I was about to start high school, my family moved to Columbus."

"I remember Deepesh when he was a freshman," said Dr. Sybil Brown, STEM Coordinator at Northland High School. "He was so shy, introverted, and initially hesitant to get involved. Another Nepali student recruited him to join the STEM Club." 

That's all it took for Deepesh to start to shine. 

"Deepesh is extremely bright mathematically," said Dr. Brown. "Once he discovered the STEM Club, he no longer felt awkward. His peers respected him. Deepesh became a leader in the STEM Club, and we were winning local, regional, and national math competitions because of him." 

Deepesh Giri's list of honors is long. They include: 

  • Engineering Pathway completed
  • Business Pathway completed
  • 57 College Credit Plus courses completed by high school graduation
  • STEM Club Member with the highest GPA all four years of High School
  • Student Intervention Program Peer Tutor
  • Recipient of the Honda-Ohio State STEM Award & Scholarship

"When we see that level of brilliance in our students, it's our job to help them grow and provide opportunities," said Dr. Brown. “I’m so pleased that Deepesh has trusted me. When I look back on his high school career, I am so proud of him.”

Jaime Elledge is the Advancement Via Individual Achievement (AVID) and Business Teacher at Northland. She started working with Deepesh when he was a sophomore. That's when he took his first college credit course. 

"Deepesh makes me think," said Elledge. "He's completed every course, including Calculus II at Northland, so we had to find classes for him that would be meaningful once he got to college." 

Elledge has found those courses through Columbus State Community College (CSCC) for Deepesh and other high achieving students at Northland. One day every semester, she waits patiently for the delivery of CSCC college textbooks for her students. 

"The beauty of the College Credit Plus program is our students don't have to leave the classroom," said Elledge. "The academic material comes to them. That's a huge barrier which has been removed for our students since many don’t have transportation readily available." 

Deepesh is soft-spoken and humble about his high school accomplishments. 

"I have to study," said Giri. "It doesn't come as easy to me as you might think." 

"We just created the avenue for Deepesh, but we didn't do it; Deepesh did," said Elledge. "Dr. Brown and all his teachers gave Deepesh the tools so he can go as fast as he wants." 

Currently, Deepesh has been accepted at Otterbein, Denison, and the Ohio State University. He is still waiting to hear from Yale and Duke. Where Deepesh goes to college depends on the financial aid package. His dad is a fork-lift operator, and his mom is a custodian.

These days his time is spent completing his course work and trying to figure out his valedictorian speech to the Northland High School Class of 2021.