Midland Teen gets Harvard’s attention

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MIDLAND, Texas (ABC Big 2) – We’re quickly approaching that time where students go into a college admissions frenzy. But things are looking up at Midland Lee High School because one student already got into perhaps the most selective university.

“There’s no doubt he’s the smartest person on campus, including most of us teachers,” said Joshua Wimberly, Midland Lee debate coach.

Pranav Ganta is a senior at Midland Lee High School. He just got into Harvard University, but his acceptance is not unexpected.

“He shows that if you put your mind to something he can achieve it,” said one of Ganta’s classmates.

But Harvard isn’t on Ganta’s mind right now. He is busy talking about automation and labor in third-period speech and debate class.

No sweat, but Ganta’s got a 4.81 GPA. His lowest grade ever? A 97 in physics. But it’s much more than a numbers game for him. Ganta is interested in medicine.

“An individual’s understanding of science and how it is incorporated into U.S. policy specifically,” said Ganta, when explaining his interest.

“It would not surprise for me to see Pranav end up in a laboratory somewhere… maybe he will cure the next COVID that comes around,” Wimberly said.

He’s already written a book about biology and translated that into Spanish. He does it because he thinks it’s important to help his community learn.

So what did Ganta write about in his admissions?

“The story of the untold that really has motivated me, especially people in food deserts around this area that are often cut off by the pandemic,” said Ganta.

You see, Midland is a far way from Cambridge, Massachusetts. But it’s the people here in West Texas that really got Ganta thinking.

“I think living in Midland-Odessa, it’s really like I said before, it’s a unique region, it’s isolated from a lot of large academic institutions…” Ganta said.

And it’s clear that forced Ganta to create opportunities for himself and to be innovative and resourceful.

“And I think that’s something Lee High School has specifically enabled me to do,” Ganta adds.

And for those looking to go to Harvard, too, Ganta said, “I think there’s always a chance for anybody who lives in this area.”

One of Ganta’s classmates reiterates how work ethic helped Ganta gain admission.

“He’s not just somebody who goes out and does stuff. He proves you should actually go out and do it.”

After all, there’s no time to waste when you’re busy trying to improve the world. And for Ganta, that starts here in Midland.

“Good luck, go out there and be awesome, Pranav,” Wimberly said.

Ganta is still waiting to hear back from at least 10 other schools before making a decision.

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