Green Hope Senior Pracheeti Shikarkhane Awarded Park Scholarship

Shikarkhane is yet Another Green Hope Student to Achieve this Success


Photo taken by Pracheeti Shirkakhane

Pracheeti Shirkakhane Accepted to the Park Class of 2026

Samir Tusneem, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Park Scholarship is without a doubt one of the most prestigious endowments offered to high school students across the country and all around the globe. Just recently, Green Hope Senior Pracheeti Shikarkhane received news informing her that she was admitted to the Park Class of 2026.  The Park Scholarship pays for all costs of college.  College costs that are covered include tuition, food, and room and board at North Carolina State University.

“When I received the news, I was absolutely ecstatic,” Pracheeti recalled. It was such an exciting moment to find out that I had received the scholarship. I remember it was a Friday afternoon, and I received a call from the director of the Park Scholarships telling me the good news. I couldn’t stop smiling.”

This scholastic achievement certainly came with no surprise given Pracheeti’s hard work and dedication to her academic endeavors and extracurricular activities over the past four years at Green Hope. In addition to maintaining a high level academic standing, Pracheeti has been involved in a number of notable activities including being the co-founder and CEO of a startup with a team that developed NASA award-winning technology. 

“We came up with the idea of a novel biopolymer aerogel with enhanced thermal insulation, flame retardancy, and electromagnetic interference shielding for space applications,” she stated.

In addition to this, Pracheeti has won additional awards in the field of technology, such as leading her team to become the first high schoolers in history to be chosen as top-10 national finalists for the industry-level NASA iTech pitch competition and earning the first honorable mention in competition history after she pitched her company and technology to NASA executives and silicon valley investors on national TV. 

After the competition, Pracheeti and her team filed a patent which gave her the opportunity to be featured on several tech podcasts. “I think the achievement was amazing itself, but the experience also gave me a lot to talk about during my interview in terms of working in a team and overcoming obstacles,” she said.

Additionally, Pracheeti serves as a lead instructor and curriculum developer at the TechGirlz nonprofit.  She serves on the national teen advisory board which mentors underprivileged middle school students in Durham. Furthermore, she conducts medical imaging research with UNC-Chapel Hill, and she publishes independent research while also serving as the lead programmer on Green Hope’s competitive robotics team.

With these notable accomplishments and accolades, Pracheeti took the time to reflect on the Green Hope environment and its contributions to her success and growth over her high school career. 

“The Green Hope community is incredibly supportive. My friends, teachers, and counselors were always there to encourage me throughout my journey, not only when I was applying to Park but far before that as well,” Pracheeti stated.  “The Green Hope environment also helped me cultivate leadership roles as the president of math honor society and a captain in our school’s competitive cybersecurity team,” she added.

As for the application process itself, the first round involved answering two essay questions focused on leadership experience and extracurricular activities. The next round culminated in interviews for the semifinalists, which lasted for about 30 minutes with questions focused on how the applicant embodies Park’s four pillars. The 112 finalists were then invited to NC State’s campus during “Finalist Weekend” for two days to learn more about the NC State campus and the Park program. During this weekend, the finalists are interviewed and hear back within two weeks regarding their status.

For students who are looking to apply for the Park scholarship in the future, Pracheeti offers one important piece of advice: tell your story. 

“You’re not listing out every extracurricular you’ve done, which awards you’ve won, and what grades you got. Far from it. Rather, you want to talk about your passions and motivations, how your individual extracurriculars are connected, how you have a bigger personal goal, and how you care about your community,” she explained. “Park scholars intrinsically gravitate towards leadership and work to build others up. Show them how these aspects align with what you’ve done and what you hope to do. Also make sure to highlight your teamwork skills and think of scenarios where you’ve had to lead teams, work through conflicts, and make progress together. The Park committee also wants to see how you respond to and bounce back from challenges,” she added.

Moving forward, Pracheeti intends to pursue a major in Computer Science or Computer Engineering with a double major in business. Although she has not committed to NC State as of right now, she is continuing to consider other college offers and intends to make a finalized decision by April 10th.