Senior Neven Vaduthala will become the first graduate in school history to have the New York State Seal of Biliteracy included in his diploma.
The State Seal of Biliteracy was signed into law in 2012 and was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.
Neven completed steps that were required in order to earn this honor. He wrote an essay on the history of social equality in America in both English and Spanish, inspired by the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Márquez.
“I really learned a lot about myself as I went through this application process for the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Neven. “It was beneficial in doing some self-reflecting as a student in addition to a great highlight on my resume.”
Following submission of both his essays, Neven went through an interview process in which he discussed the impact of English and Spanish in his life as he has been studying Spanish since seventh grade. Following the interview round, he was notified of his selection as the first West Hempstead student to earn this high honor.
“Neven is a trailblazer for future West Hempstead students that can speak and write in two or more languages,” said Principal James DeTommaso. “He sets the bar and inspiration for graduates in years to come to also apply for this tremendous honor.”
The district congratulates Neven on being bestowed the Seal of Biliteracy and wishes him luck as he enrolls at Northwestern University this fall.