Newsletter: June - 2014

Dear NSF families,
Happy Summer! Along with our jackets and sweaters, national competitions are also being wrapped up. The Scripps National Spelling Bee, National Geographic, MathCounts, Science Bowl, and NSF's own regional contests have all come to a close. NSF participants continue to amaze us, excelling in a variety of competitions. You can read more about their accomplishments in the Youth Accomplishments article.

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It's not quite the end yet. NSF Finals are just around the corner, scheduled for August 16 and 17 at The University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX. Participants of last year's Finals participants at Duke University are shown to the left.
Once again, volunteers are working extremely hard to make these Finals a great experience for all our families.
To friends and families in India, we are proud to announce the 2014-2015 Scholarship Season. Last year's Mysore Chapter Scholarship recipients are shown to the bottom left. If you know anyone qualifying for a scholarship, spread the word! NSF gave away a whopping 2,549 scholarships past season, and with your help, this number can keep climbing. To "bee a helping hand", all NSF participants can take part in the Dollar-A-Square program.
This issue contains a scholarship update, an update of the Dollar-A-Square program, a review of NSF's regionals, more details on NSF youth accomplishments, and an interview with India Scholarship Jodhpur Chapter Coordinator, Mr. Damodar Moondra.
Shrinidhi Thirumalai
NSF Newsletter Editorial Team Member
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This year, North South Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary. NSF volunteers continue to put their hearts into a great cause; the Indian scholarship effort continues to flourish and grow; and the contests that NSF conducts in America are leading NSF participants to new, fantastic heights. We are proud and delighted to announce that in this unprecedented and incredible year, NSF participants came out on top in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the National MathCounts Competition, the National Geographic Bee, and the National Science Bowl.

NSF's very own 2012 Senior Spelling Bee and 2009 Junior Spelling Bee Champion Sriram Hathwar was declared (co-)champion of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in one of the most thrilling, nail-biting Bees in recent history. Upon his correct spelling of stichomythia and his co-champion Ansun Sujoe's correct spelling of feuilleton, the two were crowned co-champions. This was Sriram's fifth trip to the Bee, having previously attended in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013. NSF participants, as in previous years, had a strong presence in the Championship Finals of the 2014 Scripps Bee; Gokul Venkatachalam from Missouri, came in 4th, Ashwin Veeramani from Ohio came in 4th, and Neha Konakalla from California and Tejas Muthusamy from Virginia came in 8th. This is also the seventh year in a row that an NSF contestant has been the champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a huge honor for NSF's spelling contests.
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Eighth grader Swapnil Garg, an NSF participant from California, emerged as victor in the 2014 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. in early May.
He correctly answered the question: "The smallest integer of a set of consecutive integers is -32. If the sum of these integers is 67, how many integers are in the set?" with the answer (67) in twelve seconds, using neither pen nor paper, to win the competition.
Swapnil is the first NSF participant as well as the first Indian American to place 1st in the MATHCOUNTS Competition.We're extremely happy for his success, and hope to see even more NSF participants in the future.
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In the 2014 National Geographic Bee, NSF participants Akhil Rekulapelli (right), an 8th grader from Virginia, and Ameya Mujumdar (left), a 5th grader from Florida captured 1st and 2nd places, respectively.
The championship question for Akhil was: "Oyala, a planned city located in the rainforest 65 miles east of Bata, is being built as a capital for which African country?"

Akhil correctly responded with "Equatorial Guinea", and won a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos with National Geographic's Lindblad Expeditions.

Ameya took home a $25,000 scholarship. Akhil's championship marks the second time in a row that an NSF participant has claimed the title of National Geographic Bee Champion.
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And last but certainly not least, NSF participants were part of the team that won the 2014 Middle School National Science Bowl Competition. Snigdha Allaparthi and Abhijeet Sampangi of Massachusetts captained their team to 1st place, winning round after round and showing off their thorough scientific expertise in a variety of categories.
They also placed 4th in the Model Car competition. This is the first time that NSF participants have come out on top in the National Science Bowl.
We at NSF would like to heartily congratulate Sriram, Swapnil, Akhil, Ameya, Abhijeet, and Snigdha on their well-deserved victories. We know their accomplishments will be inspirational to the next generation of NSF participants.
Ramya Auroprem
NSF Newsletter Editorial Team Member
A vision comes true
25 years ago, Dr. Ratnam Chitturi and Dr. N. BhaskaraRao, two like-minded individuals, met and discussed how they could give something back in thankfulness for their success, which they attributed to the fact that education was readily available to them. They decided to return this gift of education by enhancing the lives of those who showed merit but lacked the financial resources to move forward. Their vision was to provide sustainable opportunities for youth all over India to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of economic hardships by acquiring relevant, formal education. 25 years later, NSF has provided more than 12,500 scholarships and has seen many success stories, and it is clear that the vision of those two great men has come true.

NSF India Scholarships Yearwise Growth
Year 1989 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Sch 1 580 667 992 1449 2037 2539
Chapters 1 10 10 16 18 20 23

NSF gave away 2,539 college scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year. These included 1200 fresh and 1349 renewal scholarships to students who are enrolled to 3, 4 and 5-year college courses. We also granted 40 designated scholarships to middle and high school students. NSF would like to acknowledge the amazing work and leadership of Dr. Rayudu, Sri Seetharamaiah, and all the India Chapter Coordinators. With your help, NSF would like to continue to increase the number of scholarships in the following years.

 Chapter Fresh Renewal Total
1  Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 192 168 360
2  Tanuku, Andhra Pradesh 0 9 9
3  Vizag, Andhra Pradesh 0 3 3
4  Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh 1 0 1
5  Guwahati, Assam 0 0 0
6  Patna, Bihar 8 10 18
7  Chandigarh, Chandigarh 0 0 0
8  Ahmedabad, Gujarat* 19 4 23
9  Bhavnagar, Gujarat 0 0 0
10  Bangalore, Karnataka 130 137 267
11  Mysore, Karnataka* 11 3 14
12  Kochi, Kerala 17 11 28
13  Aurangabad, Maharashtra* 4 0 4
14  Pune, Maharashtra 3 79 82
15  Bhubaneswar, Orissa 283 330 613
16  Patiala, Punjab 0 0 0
17  Jodhpur, Rajasthan 66 98 164
18  Chennai, Tamil Nadu 221 175 396
19  Madurai, Tamil Nadu 105 141 246
20  Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu 10 14 24
21  Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh* 2 0 2
22  Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh 43 23 66
23  Kolkata,West Bengal 75 144 219
TOTAL 1190 1349 2539
 Designated Scholarships 40
* New Chapter

NSF Scholarships team announces the start of 2014-15 season! To be eligible, candidates must have all of the following criteria:

(A) Candidates who are in the top 10% in 10th, 12th AND CET/JET ranks in their state.
(B) Annual family income is less than Rs. 65,000
(C) Secured admission to professional courses like Engineering, Medical and Polytechnic, in government (or\government-aided) colleges

Our flier can be found here.

Please help us by spreading the word to your friends and family in India who may know eligible candidates. If anyone has contacts in the media, please share them with us, so that NSF can announce scholarships through local and national print media and reach more candidates. If you are interested in starting an India chapter in your home district, please contact and join our scholarships team.

Madavi Nathan Oliver
NSF India Scholarships Team
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NSF dedicates the 2014-15 scholarships season to Dr. Rayudu who served as the India National Coordinator since 2001. Dr. Rayudu passed away on 26th April, 2014 and will be sadly missed.

Dr. K. S. Rayudu received his MS in Geology at Venkateswara University, in Tirupati. Andhra Pradesh, India in 1964, and his Ph.D. in Economic Geology at Patrick Lumumba University in Moscow, Russia in 1969. After graduation, he joined Hindustan Copper Ltd in 1970, worked there for 30 years, and retired as the Chief Manager of Exploration for the entire company.

After retirement, he worked as a consultant in West Africa and Indonesia. Dr. Rayudu joined North South Foundation in 2001. NSF was lucky to find such an able person to serve its vision, and we are all grateful for his commitment, dedication, and hard work. Under his leadership, the number of scholarships grew from the few hundred we granted 10 years ago to the 1,500 given out last year.

We received an avalanche of emails in response to the sad news. A few of them are quoted here:

"We were shocked to learn that Dr. K. S. Rayudu, National Coordinator for NSF India, has passed away. He spent 10 years of his life with us at NSF administering India Scholarships. During his watch, number of scholarships has increased from about 300 to more than 2,500 during the most recent year. He was sincere, diligent, hardworking, unassuming and warm with everyone. He earned deep respect of every chapter coordinator in India. He was truly a Godsend. We all miss him dearly and greatly. I personally miss his wisdom and saintly attitude. I was always impressed with the way he would put his thoughts into words, which were both admirable and disarming"
-Dr. Ratnam Chitturi, Founder, NSF

"The news is very shocking to me. Dr. Rayudu had been my close personal friend and his loss is something which I cannot bear. No doubt, he was the backbone of NSF in India as the National coordinator. I pray God to rest the departed soul in eternal peace"
-Sri RamanathanIyer , Madurai Chapter Coordinator

"Sorry to learn about the sad demise of Mr. K.S Rayudu. I have been knowing him since he was the National Coordinator for NSF. His prompt response to all the matters and his pleasing personality was a great strength for NSF and we will really miss him. In the year 2012, he was to visit and attend the award function of Rajasthan Chapter but due to unavoidable circumstances here, our function was postponed and we missed meeting him in person. We pray GOD to give peace to the departed soul and strength to the family members to face this family tragedy"
-Sri Damodar Das Moondra, Rajasthan Chapter Coordinator

"Shocked to know about the sad and untimely demise of our beloved friend Dr. K. S. Rayudugaru, National Coordinator of NSF India Trust. I was all the while hoping that he will pull it through. But unfortunately he lost the battle. It is a great loss to all of us in NSF. He was so very kind to, and understanding of, the problems peculiar to each region. NSF has lost a very valuable volunteer. We in Pune, Maharashtra Chapter will be feeling his loss for a long time"
-K.V. Rao, Pune Chapter Coordinator

I am deeply saddened hearing the untimely demise of Dr. K. S. Rayudu. He was Friend Philosopher and Guide to all of us who are stationed at far off places from Hyderabad. We could contact him at any time of the day. He helped all students wholeheartedly. The Student Community would be in a great loss for his sudden departure from their life"
-S. C. Choudhury, Bhubaneshwar Chapter Coordinator

"Very saddened to hear the loss for the entire NSF family. Had the good fortune of meeting and working with Dr. Rayudu for 2 days at the NSF National Finals at Ann Arbor in 2012. A very humble but yet very inspiring remarkable individual"

NSF Scholarship Team
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The Dollar-A-Square (DAS) program was started in 2003. It is for the children by the children. Here's why your child should participate:
  • Children get the chance to be leaders
  • Children will be proud to make a difference
  • The process is fun and extremely easy to do
  • Children are encouraged to grow as future caring citizens
  • Free access to NSF's online games with 100 complete squares
DAS is a fun and easy way for children to "bee" the helping hand. Joining this effort is quite simple.
Three Easy Steps:

Sign up
Print pledge sheet
Start your fund raising

Children must first obtain a Pledge Sheet containing 100 squares, each of which is worth one dollar. By going around the neighborhood or asking family, friends, and classmates' parents for donations, children can easily "fill in" the squares. Children can ask for as little as a dollar, though donors will usually give at least $5 if the child explains the cause to them. Bee participants can also gain free access to NSF's online games when they complete 100 squares on the Pledge Sheet.

Shrinidhi Thirumalai (NSF Editorial Team Member)
and NSF Scholarship Team
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Mr. Damodar Das Moondra is a long time NSF volunteer, and has been managing the NSF Rajasthan chapter since 2002-03. We interviewed Mr.Moondra, and have included the transcript below.

Varsha: How and when did you first get involved with NSF?
Mr.Moondra: I met Mr. RaghevandraPaturi in 2001 in USA. He introduced me to NSF and I got involved.

Varsha: What motivated you to become a chapter coordinator for NSF?
Mr.Moondra: The basic idea was to get involved in some social activity which is all clean. What Mr. Paturi told me about NSF gave the impression that it is going to be a clean work. And it is.

Varsha: What do you feel is important about volunteering?
Mr.Moondra: It should be result oriented and good for the society.

Varsha: Could you tell us about the scholarships you have been granting and the impact they make on those that receive them?
Mr.Moondra: It really helps the needy students and save them of the high interest loans thereby reducing their financial burden.

Varsha: 66 fresh scholarships and 98 renewed scholarships have been sent by your chapter during the 2013-2014 school year. Do you feel that this is a significant number, that there is room for improvement, or both?
Mr.Moondra: With more number of scholarships available as options, the present sanction of fresh scholarships for Rajsthan chapter of 90 looks sufficient.

We'd like to sincerely thank Mr.Moondra for his time and hard work for NSF. We wish him success in his future endeavors.

Varsha Ramakrishnan
NSF Newsletter Editorial Team Member

Platinum Sponsor For Silver Jubilee - - Kapoor Singh

We are proud to announce that www.IvyGurukul.Com has become our Platinum Sponsor for National Finals to be held on August 16th and 17th, 2014 in Dallas. Ivy Gurukul will give free public speaking workshop access to the first 100 students that sign-up on-line on their website. Ask students you know to benefit by registering via Ivy Gurukul's Contact Page.

About Ivy Gurukul:
YouTube Channel
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook Page

Ivy GuruKul is a boutique Education Consulting & Services Company that designs an Ivy League Track for hardworking 3rd-12th grade kids who dream big and aspire to attend one of America's most elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.
Every ambitious, gifted & talented, or high-achieving child is encouraged to visit IvyGuruKul to explore whether she/he can benefit from one of theirprograms. IvyGuruKulis passionate about: Public Speaking & Debate, Leadership through Community Involvement & Entrepreneurship, and Golf.
Ivy GuruKul was founded by Kapoor Singh, who is on a mission to inspire and nurture the leader in every child by coaching and motivating to plan, speak, & play smart. Mr. Singh, who has a bachelor's in Civil Engineering from NIT, Kurukshetra and a master’s degree from Harvard, also ran 400 meters hurdles for India in early 90’s and has worked with top 10 world-ranked & Olympian athletes as their mentor and manager.Three lessons he strives to instill in all his students are those in commitment, self-belief, and time management.

RK Panditi
Convener - NSF National Finals
Do you have a story, poem, essay, or some artwork to share? Please send an e-mail with the attachments to In addition to your entry, please send in a scanned copy of your photograph, name of your school and city, your grade level, and your hobbies.


Shrinidhi Thirumalai, Ramya Auroprem, Sukanya Roy, Varsha Ramakrishnan, Ferdine Silva, Vignesh Kumar, and Madhav Durbha


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