Rahul Mohan, Age 13
Schools: Young Genius Learning Center in Los Gatos, eighth-grader at Lawson Middle School, Cupertino
- First place in novice Lincoln/Douglass format debate at Santa Clara High School speech debate tournament, Nov. 18 2012
- Winner at state and national chess championships
- First degree black belt holder from West Coast Martial Arts
- Straight A student at Lawson Middle School
- National Junior Honor Society student
- National Junior Speech/Debate league member
Key to Awesomeness:
"Rahul is an enthusiastic and talented boy who has the ability to pick up new things easily. He is self motivated, does not give up easily and finds solutions along the way," wrote his proud parents in an email interview.
Rahul discovered that he had a passion for speech and debate when he enrolled in speech and debate summer enrichment program. His teacher there referred him to the Young Genius Learning Center program in Los Gatos.
The center prepares its students for participating in middle and high school tournaments. Just a month after joining the Young Genius program, he participated in a big high school tournament conducted by Santa Clara University as part of the Young Genius team.
The odds were stacked him since he was a middle-schooler participating in a high school tournament and he was new to Lincoln Douglas type of speech and debate.
Rahul won all six of his preliminary debates and then his next four elimination rounds for a phenomenal record of 10 consecutive wins and the first-place finish in Novice Lincoln Douglas debate.
"In 28 years of coaching debate at over 500 tournaments that was a feat I have never seen before." says Don Heinsohn, director of the Young Genius speech and debate program.
Rahul's other passion is playing chess. He started learning chess when he was 8 years old and soon was winning in tournaments in the Bay Area and state level. He had a second-place finish in the Cal North Youth Chess tournament as an 8-year-old. He became the state champion at the California Chess State Scholastic Championship in fifth grade playing in the varsity section. Last year, he finished in the top 10 in the U.S. Nationals and helped his Lawson school team win a first-place team trophy.
Rahul newest passion is software programming. This summer, he picked up programming for mobile apps and started developing an iPhone app that he plans to release to the Appstore in the first half of 2013.
He also enjoys playing basketball at school and in the NJB league.