South Fayette School District News Article

SF Junior Named Dreamer & Leader

It has been quite the spring for South Fayette High School junior Nandana Manoj Menon as she participated in the 2024 Disney Dreamers Academy earlier this month and learned that she has been selected as one of the 2024 Bank of America Student Leaders. 

Each year since 2008, 100 students nationwide are selected to take part in the Disney Dreamers Academy in Walt Disney World. This year there were more than 10,000 applicants, and once narrowed down to the top 100, only two were from Pennsylvania – of course, one was Nandana Menon. As part of the Dreamers Class of 2024, Nandana spent four days with 99 other ambitious, motivated students like herself participating in unforgettable career workshops and networking opportunities while forming bonds that will last a lifetime. 

She said, “I wish I could stay there forever…. The connections we made were out of this world.”

Some highlights for Nandana included participating in a workshop with Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank” and riding on a float in a parade through the Magic Kingdom. She completed group work with an entrepreneurial focus which she hopes to apply to her career plans in medicine. One of the reasons she was selected as a Disney Dreamer is that she has been working with Pittsburgh technology firm CGI in developing a children’s app that is expected to be unveiled in early summer. 

Applicants for the Disney Dreamers Academy must be between ages 13 and 19 and those who stand out show intellectual curiosity, compassion, courage, a positive outlook, a generous spirit, and optimism about the future. 

While making her travel plans for Disney, Nandana learned that she has been selected as a 2024 Bank of America Student Leader. With more than 7,000 applications received, she was one of 315 students selected for her passion for improving her community. The program includes an eight-week, full-time, paid summer internship at a local non-profit, which, this summer, will be with the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium. The internship will include valuable civic, social, and business leadership skills and allow her to learn the critical role of nonprofits in our community. Additionally, she will travel to Washington, D.C. for a Student Leaders Summit to network with students from across the country and participate in a week of interactive sessions that include meeting Bank of America leaders and government officials, sightseeing, and more.

Regularly achieving highest honor roll status through middle and high schools, last week, Nandana was also appointed president of South Fayette’s chapter of the National Honor Society for the 2024-25 academic year. 

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