Hawaii's Super Students
Saturday, August 10, 1996

Name: Ravi Gunatilake
Age: 17
School: Hawaii Baptist Academy
Pastimes: Lifting weights, basketball, cooking
Future: Doctor

Parental advice paying off

Ravi Gunatilake credits much of his success to his parents, Kanthi DeAlwis and Sarath Gunatilake, who have been an inspiration.

Originally from Sri Lanka, his mother came to the United States with hardly any money and worked her way up to become the city's deputy medical examiner, he says.

"My parents always encouraged me to work hard to achieve a dream."

He overcame the difficultly of learning English after coming to Hawaii.

Gunatilake was named Hawaii Baptist Academy's outstanding student for advanced placement biology and economics.

With a 3.8 grade-point average, Gunatilake was the National Honor Society treasurer and co-chairman of the school's Blood Bank Drive.

"He's one of those kids you wished you had a full class of," biology teacher Duwayne Worthington says. "He's a solid, solid student."

Now, the Hawaii Baptist Academy graduate wants to be a pediatrician after helping children at the Aloha Medical Mission Clinic, a nonprofit group of volunteer doctors who provide basic health care to the community.

There, he has done everything from clerical work to taking a patient's height, weight and blood pressure.

"I basically like working with kids," he says.

Gunatilake will attend the University of California-San Diego to study pre-medicine this fall.

Jenny Tom, Star-Bulletin

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