The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

Academy Achievers: Celebrating Anya, Akilan, and Jack

The Advocate would like to periodically recognize students in the 10-12 division for their extraordinary achievements on campus or outside the Academy community. This week, The Advocate salutes the following.
Anya and President Biden. Courtesy of Anya Parasher.

Anya Parasher ’24: Anya got to meet President Biden in Belen this past summer as a result of her involvement in local civic and political activities. She spent her summer working at the Mayor’s Office as an intern. There, she helped with several projects around the city, such as Bank On Burque (an economic program designed to help families get bank accounts), youth housing, and the Stories of Us project (a program recognizing people who have made an impact on Albuquerque’s historical landscape). She was invited to meet Biden through the Mayor’s Office, and says she was excited and honored to meet with the President. They discussed the importance of youth voices in public policy and decision making.

“I’m so grateful to everyone at the Mayor’s Office who allowed for this amazing opportunity,” Anya said.


Akilan at the piano. Courtesy of Akilan Sankaran.

Akilan Sankaran ’25: Akilan is an accomplished, award-winning classical pianist who has performed in concert halls around the country. This past summer, he performed in Dallas at the International Cliburn Junior Piano Competition, regarded as one of the most prestigious piano events for musicians his age. Akilan played works by Prokofiev, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Chopin. He has played piano since he was six years old and enjoys performing classical pieces, jazz, and popular songs.

“I’ve found that piano playing has always given me a form of inspiration and a way to bring life to music in a nuanced and creative form,” he said.

He will be performing Mozart concertos in a public concert with the New Mexico Philharmonic on October 22.


Jack in his fencing gear. Courtesy of Jack Richards.

Jack Richards ’25: Jack is a skilled fencer, practicing for over a decade. He reached the two-week Summer Nationals fencing tournament in July, which was held in Phoenix. In addition, Jack earned First Team All-American honors for fencing, and has received a national fencing rating high enough to qualify for special nationwide competitions. He trains at Duke City Fencing in Albuquerque four days a week. He hopes to continue to pursue fencing at Haverford College.

“Fencing is definitely something I want to do in college and Haverford has a great program,” said Richards.




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If you know of a student who deserves to be recognized as an Academy Achiever, please contact Austin Curtis ‘25.


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About the Contributor
Lily Ma’ayan ’24, 7th Grade Editor
Lily, or Lilith, '24 is the Advocate’s 7th-grade editor, working with our youngest writers and artists. She is a class officer who, along with writing, enjoys making art, some of which is to be used as cover art for friends. Lily joined the Advocate in 2021 with an interest in writing and a love of reading. She often listens to music with her two cats, Cocoa and Nilla.

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    Dean JacobyOct 2, 2023 at 8:18 am

    I’m so glad that you have created this series. There are so many students who work hard at things outside of the classroom and can go unnoticed because it happens in a less public sphere. Kudos to the Advocate for recognizing this need.

    If I may, I would love a similar column on staff. There are a great number of talented folks who work behind the scenes to make the school work for students and faculty who often have other talents. The recently retired Ricky in the Dining Hall is a talented jewelery maker, for example.