You can be forgiven if your first reaction to Gautum Mereddy’s story in the Duluth News Tribune is, “his parents must have really pushed the kid.” Mereddy, a student at Duluth East, received perfect scores on all five of the ACT and SAT tests he took.
It’s a remarkable story — he’s already had three academic articles in chemistry published and a fourth is underway — but this is the portion about his parents that stands out:
Even with their emphasis on the fields of science, Mereddy, an only child, said they’ve been largely hands off on his education. And through that freedom, he took his own initiative in school and volunteering.
What they gave him was inspiration. His parents are both professors at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Mom teaches chemistry; dad teaches pharmacy.
But his own initiative and volunteering with St. Luke’s and Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, the Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center and the Andiamo Center appears to have played a big part.
“I’ve been doing a lot of health care-related volunteering. The combination of (the) science behind it and the social interactions with the doctors and patients — I just think it’s rather interesting,” he tells the paper.
“There’s more to a student than just some test numbers and whatnot,” he said. “If you’re going to do anything, you should try to do it to the best of your abilities.”