Twenty-year-old Miss Shanika Sudarshanage was an alumna of Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura. She is the elder in a family of two girls. Her father is a retired army officer and her mother is a teacher. Shanika’s parents are well educated and very supportive of her higher education, she gained many opportunities since she was a child.
When young Shanika (then fourteen years old) was selected by Horizon Lanka Foundation to represent Sri Lanka at the “World Toilet Day” Festival organized by Sulabh International in New Delhi, India in 2014, her parents were confident enough that Shanika could take up the challenge, even though it was her first trip overseas. She was accompanied by a female teacher from Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura. Shanika not only did her part at this event very well, but also won the second place of the online competition held by the organizers at this event and was gifted a brand new laptop computer and a cash price of over 100,000 INR.
Shanika had the opportunity of meeting Mr Sudarshana Senavirathne, the then Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India. She sacrificed a visit to the “Taj Mahal” in Agra to meet with the High Commissioner as she was intrigued meeting high profile people even at that age. (You will realize why. when you read this article to the end). She obtained the maximum exposure & benefits of the tour and it was a wonderful opportunity to enhance Shanika’s life. Shanika made many a friend from South Asian countries during the event, with whom she is still in touch.
With the experience that Shanika had from the Indian tour, and also with her fondness for India, she chose the Hindi language as a subject for her GCE Ordinary Level examination and obtained an ‘A’ for Hindi. Moreover, she did her Advanced level in the Arts Stream and obtained a ‘B’ for Logic and a ‘C’ for English and French languages, which is very creditable.
Shanika also took part in many extracurricular activities while at school, was a Sergeant of the schools National Cadet Corps, excelled in sports such as Netball, Handball and Chess.
Shanika also taught English Literature for three months in one of the well-known private schools in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, with her keen interest in languages and foreign relations, she is currently pursuing a six-month course in International Relations along with a Chinese language course, until she gets into the university. She has already been selected to the university. (Getting the entrance to a university in Sri Lanka is extremely difficult as it is very competitive.)
Any idea as to why Shanika took the French language as a subject? Well, she states that she wishes to be a career diplomat and eventually become the Secretary-General of the United Nations someday. Horizon Lanka Foundation is happy to assist her further education and professional development as well. The rest, we believe, is up to her. (Watch the video below to hear it from her own voice.)