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News > Alumni Stories > From AES to Harvard Medical School—Shreyas Rajesh

From AES to Harvard Medical School—Shreyas Rajesh

From AES to Harvard Medical School, Alumnus Shreyas Rajesh

By Clare Perry (AES Content Writer and Alumni Link)

Shreyas Rajesh, class of 2018, was recently in touch with exciting news—he will begin his Harvard Medical School education this fall! Shreyas reached out to share his excitement but also his gratitude to Vera Garg and all the AES teachers who helped him nurture his passions and inform his way forward. He thanks Garg for helping him understand service as involving advocacy and direct volunteering. He states that this “framework has informed [his] own view of service and what [he] believes [will be his] obligation…as a physician: to provide direct service to under-resourced communities but to concurrently remain involved and diligent in advocacy efforts.” 

Shreyas further credits Garg for helping him “turn passion and enthusiasm for service into action..[to become] a ‘service-leader’ — the exact phrase the Dean of Harvard Medical School used when he called [him] to congratulate [him] on [his] acceptance.”

In addition to time spent working in service with Vera Garg, Shreyas has many other fond memories—many of which involved inspiring interactions with other teachers. 

He recalls his English teacher, Mr. Guggisberg, standing in the breezeway, two hours after his last exam of sophomore year. Guggi was a hard grader with a “boisterous but ultimately loving personality.” Shreyas shares that he had not been doing well in class but managed to pull off an A+ on one assignment—memorable for sure but what was more significant was the teacher’s enthusiastic and public response, making Shreyas feel like “a superhero that day” and ultimately helping him find [his] voice as a writer.

Shreyas louds Ms. Patterson and her IB Literature class. This was his favorite and most difficult class in high school. He credits this class with teaching him “how to think; how to process information; how to follow complex, difficult ideas; how to respectfully debate people with different ideas; and how to compose elegant but succinct arguments…[she was] so dedicated to our success!” Shreyas also appreciated Ms. Patterson for “creat[ing] this special community in her classroom” that made everyone look forward to being together.

Another teacher Shreyas highlights in his reminiscing about at AES was his biology teacher, Ms. Maczuzak—her class “was an adventure. [He] remembers one time, [his] friend Tara Parker (also class of 2018) and [he] told [the teacher they] wanted to learn dissections, and even though that wasn’t in the IB curriculum, [Ms. Maczucak] just bought us a goat. A literal goat. And then a bunch of [students] came after school and dissected it; it was a little chaotic but ultimately super fun and instructive. A few months later…pigs.” Shreyas praised Ms. Maczuzak for making the hard IB curriculum super fun!

“AES has a lot of resources and a lot of passionate kids. Exciting things happen when those two collide.” 

And at last, beyond the great teaching and abundant resources, Shreyas appreciated the other AES students: “I think AES is an incredible place because students are, for the most part, pretty kind to each other. I was a huge nerd in high school (I still am). I felt like I was welcomed and invited to be myself. It’s truly a special place.” 

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