Times Observer Student of Year has done it all, wants to do more

Youngsville High School Valedictorian.

President of the National Honor Society.

Times Observer 2014 Student of the Year.

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Andrew Lalwani around Warren County. Maybe on stage, where he’s been since doing the “Best Little Theater in Town” in the fourth-grade (“I messed up…I went up to the mic and I forgot my words”) or one of the many performances with the All County High School Musicals, the Warren Players Musical Productions, the Warren Players Princess Troop or the Warren County Summer Music School, which he attended, and now helps teach.

Maybe you’ve seen him volunteering at the Warren County Fair Grounds or the Youngsville Fire Hall, Youth Connection, and the Rouse Home.

Probably not though, because he was most likely running track and cross country or leading any number of clubs at Youngsville High School – from the YHS Eagle’s Eye Broadcasting, which he’s president, the YHS journalism club, which he’s also president, the Boardwalk newspaper that he edits, student council, math club, the science club of which he’s the treasurer, art club which he’s also treasurer, vice president of Madrigals, worker at the YHS library and participant in T.E.A.M.S., Students Against Destructive Decisions, Mock Trial, Academic Bowl and Head Start.

“It’s from when you wake up to when you go to sleep, you’re busy,” he said. “But it’s fun.”

The list of awards and achievements he’s received is extensive, just a few of the awards include student of the week awards from 2010 to 2013; merit scholar from 2010 to 2014; YHS academic letter for achievement in 2011; YHS silver eagle award in 2011; YHS scholar athlete award 2010 to 2014; Warren County pin of personal excellence award for academic in 2012-2013; YHS Pennsylvania Business Week CEO position and first place trade show exhibit in 2013.

Earlier this year he was awarded Best in Show at Edinboro University Tri-State Teen Journalism Contest, an award he said stands out the most.

On Tuesday he was awarded YHS valedictorian for maintaining a 98 percent average.

“You don’t ace everything, you reach out for help,” he said. “It’s a key factor that drove me in high school.”

In a couple years, don’t be surprised if you flip on the TV in the morning before work and see him sitting there in front of the camera. In the fall, Lalwani will attend American University where he will double major in broadcast journalism and film production and minor in web design.

“I like working with people a lot and always wanted to be a part of broadcast journalism because I like to get out in the community and reach people in some way and get to know their story, interact, help out any way possible. I’d love to work for some form of NBC or entertainment company,” he said.

On Friday, he’ll graduate from YHS and spend the summer working at the Warren County Historical Society during the week and the Rouse Home on the weekends.

Lalwani will have one more role on stage at the Struthers Library Theatre in Macbeth as Fleance – Banquo’s son who’s whereabouts are unknown but is presumed to fulfill the witches’ prophecy and rule Scotland.

“I really feel that coming from a small town it’s a stepping stone in life. You learn how to balance yourself in a community where everyone knows you, everyone gets to know each other and you have a bond. But at the same time you need a level of challenge…why not go back to the area where you started and face these bigger challenges? More people, more competition.”

Lalwani is the recipient of the $2,000 Times Observer and Community Foundation of Warren County scholarship. Each organization contributes $1,000 to the scholarship fund.

The Student of the Year is selected by a panel of community and school officials.

This year’s panel included: WCSD Superintendent Dr. William Clark; Community Foundation members Ellen Paquette and Murray McComas; Times Observer staff members Melissa Anderson and Julie Miller; Northwest Savings Bank Vice-President Rob Port; and Filling the Gap Inc. Vice-President Mike Suppa; and Times Observer Publisher Robert Patchen acted as emcee.