TAMPA, Fla. — Among the grown-up speakers at the annual Great American Teach-In this year, a 16-year-old in a slick suit stole the show.
Aniruth Narayanan is a junior at Tampa’s King High School. He visited the grade-schoolers at MacFarlane Park Elementary to teach them about speaking in public with confidence.
What Aniruth really showed the students during an event usually reserved for professional adults is that having drive and tenacity — even before having your driver’s license — pays off.
“I was learning calculus when I was in the 3rd grade,” says Aniruth. “I had to push myself to another level.”
Aniruth is truly an overachiever.
He teaches a competitive mathematics course at USF and won the Global Classrooms Initiative Model at the United Nations Conference in New York.
Duke University feted him for his high SAT scores.
Aniruth is a champion debater, a Toastmaster supreme and a leading voice on the Hillsborough County Youth Leadership Council.
“I get up in the morning not thinking ‘Oh, I have to go to school. Oh, my alarm woke me up. Why can’t I sleep longer?’" says Aniruth. "I see every day as an opportunity to go learn more.”
The students soaked up every word from Aniruth. That includes one fifth-grader named Seth who was trying to conquer his nerves at public speaking.
With a pep talk from Aniruth, the pre-teen stood in front of his class and spoke with conviction. When he was done, Seth, with his new pal Aniruth by his side, received a big round of applause.