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Alum Neha Wadekar ’07 Returns for Persky Awards

A lifelong love of writing and storytelling, stoked by English classes at Milton, propelled Neha Wadekar ’07 into a career in freelance journalism, she told students at the 44th Annual Laurence S. Persky Memorial Awards, which honors the best in student-published writing and artwork.

“I joined Milton in seventh grade, and I remember coming back for my revisit day and Ms. Simon was teaching Pride and Prejudice,” Wadekar recalled at the ceremony. “I was blown away by the level of back-and-forth discussion that the students were having about the meaning of the novel and the specific intentions of certain passages and the construction of particular sentences.”

Today, Wadekar is a multi- media freelance journalist based in Nairobi, where she reports on issues of climate, gender, crisis and conflict, and human rights. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and on PBS “NewsHour,” CNN, and others.

What’s the Big Idea?

As Robert F. Kennedy ’44 observed, the best ideas—the most daring, and those that make the most profound impact on our world—spring from the minds of people who are unafraid to ask “Why not?” This issue highlights Milton graduates whose ideas are limitless, who challenge outdated assumptions, and who champion new approaches to old problems. On campus, students and teachers celebrate not only thinking but rethinking, and the powerful good that can be achieved when minds are nurtured, compassionate, and free.