Yasmeen Khan is an associate producer covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
Meet another student in our Senior Snapshots series, which offers a look at some of the New York teenagers getting their diplomas this month.
For many high school seniors, graduation season comes with mixed emotions. Whether students are bound for college or going to work, they're still leaving something behind — especially if they loved their school as much as 18-year-old Dave Nandkumar.
"One word that I can definitely say is that I am is expressive," he said. "I show everything. You can see it on my face, body language, anything."
Nandkumar is graduating from Hillcrest High School in Queens, where he channeled that energy into his many interests. He was on the yearbook committee and the National Honor Society. He does traditional Indian and Bollywood dancing. He was even voted Prom Prince.
"Honestly, I'm proud of everything that I did," he said, "because I feel like I give 110 percent in everything I do — if it's singing, dancing, arranging something, setting up a play."
Nandkumar said his dad always stressed the idea of getting good grades, and his mother encouraged him to try new experiences. He's leaving high school with a 93 average.
Nandkumar is enrolling in York College and plans to live with his family in Queens. He said he's looking forward to his next step, but it's still going to be hard to say goodbye to Hillcrest when he graduates on June 29.
"I'm going to miss it so, so much, because in high school I always have somewhere to go," he said. "I always have somewhere to be. ... In college, you just have to keep it moving in that three-hour class and just book it. So, it's going to be really hard to adjust, but I'm down for it."