Thank You Seniors: Neha Sunkara ’21

Observing Neha Sunkara from afar is like a master class in persistence and kindness. Neha is an incredible student at Montrose, as she will no doubt continue to be when she moves on to Cornell University in the fall. Throughout all her success inside and outside of the classroom, however, Neha is still always willing to lend a helping hand to others.  Speaking from experience, she is one of the most genuinely good people I have ever met. Anna Sheehan ‘21 concurs: “Neha is so hard-working. I think it is amazing that Neha is so motivated in all her classes and extracurriculars and still always has time to put other people first.” 

Neha started attending Montrose in the fall of 2015, but her strongest memory of the experience is actually from her day visit. “It was some sort of snow day or something, so only half the class was actually there! It was really funny, I loved it, and I thought, ‘wow, it’s a lot of fun here.’ I really liked the community and the welcoming atmosphere.” The character education Montrose provides was also a deciding factor for Neha.  “I was like, ‘ Wow, growing in personal character? That’s what I need!’” 

Despite being a STEM student extraordinaire (as her AP Chem and Calc BC teachers will no doubt attest to), Neha also succeeds in the literary realm.  “I love writing poetry,” she says, “And reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve been really getting into self-help books these days because I’m the health and wellness editor, but I also love a good fantasy book. That’s probably my favorite genre.”  Neha’s recommendations for good fantasy series include anything by Rick Riordan, as well as the Ember and the Ashes series. 

Neha is also deeply creative. She adores making art, and her crochet skills are out-of-this-world.  As we got around to the topic of her creative pursuits, Neha laughed and told me, “I actually made the scrunchie I’m wearing right now!” Other favorite patterns to crochet are potholders and baby hats. A staple of Montrose performing arts since her arrival in 7th grade, Neha is an old pro at Montrose theater. Her first ever experience with performing arts at Montrose was playing the flute in the musical HMS Pinafore. “I realized theater was something I liked,” she said. Her flute debut was followed up by a string of performances in whatever shows she could be a part of, from Hello Dolly to Mary Poppins to this year’s concert-style performance of Les Miserables. Neha is also a much-beloved member of Montrose’s A Capella group the Treblemakers. As someone who has worked alongside her for three years in a capella, I know Neha brings the same enthusiasm and willingness to put in the work in a capella as she does in all other aspects of her life. Outside of Montrose, Neha’s creative spirit still shines. She is an avid yoga practitioner and also enjoys cooking with her mom, although she claims her mom does most of the actual cooking. “I love eating and I love finding recipes, but I can’t cook to save my life! I always have to ask my mom to help me.” 

As mentioned above, Neha is taking her dedication, artistic sense, and kindness with her to Cornell in the fall, qualities of hers that I’m sure we will all sorely miss. But she won’t be taking it all. Anyone who has had even the slightest interaction with Neha will tell you that her positive energy definitely rubs off. I’d like to think that if we all take our little bit of Neha she’s given us and try to use it for the better, the world would be a little bit brighter.  Caroline Reichard ‘21 sums it up:  “Neha is an amazing person, she is super smart but also so kind. She’s so humble too, and she’s always willing to help others.  Neha is just an amazing friend.” I asked Neha for some words of wisdom to leave us all with, and she told me the following: 

“Just spread love. Always be kind to people, and know there are situations where sometimes you don’t know that they might be in and tha’ts why they are acting in a certain way. So just be kind and spread love always.” 

Have a blast in college, Neha! We’re all going to miss you, but you’re about to go change the world. 


Emma Barry ‘22, Ask Alice Editor