by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

A True Leader

Del Norte High School senior Soumya Kuruvila is undeniably accomplished. She earned the Distinguished Young Woman of Inland San Diego 2017 title from the national scholarship program, and even represented her school at the 2016 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference. Soumya’s vast success stems from taking action for positive change when she sees something that needs to be done.

As the founder and president of the Women Leadership Club, for example, Soumya is especially cognizant of helping other women realize their full potential. She elaborated, “As a club, we empower ourselves by listening to the stories of other successful women, volunteering at local events, and teaching leadership lessons at middle and elementary schools. Throughout this process, we are constantly given opportunities to sharpen our leadership abilities and seek different ways to be involved in our community.”

student_soumya_1Surprisingly, Soumya wasn’t always the emblem of outer confidence. She used to be painfully shy, and somehow ran for class president at age 12 although scared about giving a public speech. The experience, however, emboldened her. Soumya recalled, “I walked out on the stage terrified, yet amazed that I had the ability to shape and deliver a message in a way that could be impactful. That is how I fell in love with speech.”

Now Soumya is the president of her school’s speech and debate team, and was instrumental in boosting its presence among the student body. She said, “I encouraged others to try speech. I know that my most important job is creating an environment where we support each other.”

In addition, Soumya is on her school’s varsity tennis team, and is on her school’s Link Crew, easing the transition for high school freshmen. A huge fan of computer science, Soumya also interned at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. While logging over 250 hours at the Center, Soumya helped develop Grace’s Coding Club, which aims to encourage girls to pursue careers in computer science.

Never one to complain about her extensive hours volunteering, Soumya instead welcomes the opportunity. She exclaimed, “While you are ‘giving back,’ you are receiving so much more. When you volunteer, you practice your communication skills, gain experience, and do something meaningful, which is arguably one of the best feelings you can experience.” Spoken like a true leader.

Name: Soumya Kuruvila (17)
School: Del Norte High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Sabu Philip and Ceeja Kurian
Sibling: Leah Kuruvila (13)
Favorite place in 92127: The 4S Commons