Mounica Katragadda: Academic Self

Mounica is an 18-year-old dual enrollment student and describes her academic self as visual, self-motivated, and engaging. She discovered the importance of her first academic self-word, visual, in elementary school. At her first school Crabapple Elementary, she realized she learned best with visual displays of information such as charts and graphs in front of her. Being able to see what she was learning while learning it, was something that helped her understand and retain information. She carried this learning style with her throughout her years in school.

In K-6th grade, Mounica was surrounded with familiar faces and friends until she moved to Piney Grove Middle School in 7th grade. She left behind her old friends and learned how to function in a new and unfamiliar environment. In her 5th-grade science class, she discovered her love for evolution. Although she did not quite understand it, she was eager to learn more, further sparking her interest in the sciences.

Mounica carried her love for science with her to high school and developed a passion for technology, specifically coding. She noticed a lot of girls at her school who were discouraged from taking computer science and coding classes at her school because they were male-dominated. Mounica became dedicated to making a safe space where they could enjoy the fascinating world of coding. She founded the Girls Who Code club at her school and became the president. She was the vice president of community service of the Red Cross organization and a member of FBLA and HOSA where she competed in regional and state events and honed her public speaking skills.

Mounica does not consider herself to be an extraordinary writer but she believes that with hard work and time she can be. That is why she decided to challenge herself by taking dual enrollment English this year through GSU. Mounica’s situation reminded me of the reading, “Some People Are Just Born Good Writers” by Jill Parrott. Where the author says, “Good writers are not born. They are learned.”

Growing up, Mounica’s biggest influence was her dad. When she moved to Denmark High School she was overwhelmed. It was a very competitive school, and all the students were taking AP’s and rigorous courses to bulk up their GPA. All though there was so much pressure to fall in with the crowd and take these classes Mounica remembered her fathers’ advice and it kept her grounded. Her father instilled in her at a young age that excelling academically was important, but she should also do things at her own pace and do things she enjoys. She spent her time in high school taking courses she enjoyed, including her favorite subject, biology.

Like many others, Mounica plans to go to college after high school. It is expected in her family and required for the career path she wants to pursue. Mounica plans to continue studying her interests by becoming a biochemistry major at her dream school, The University of Michigan. There she hopes to go the pre-med route or even go into medical law.

Through our interviews, I noticed how hardworking and self-motivated Mounica is. She is a student who puts lots of effort into learning about topics that interest her and even goes a step further to make something creative of them. I hope to stay connected with her in the future and wish her the best in continuing her academic journey.


Parrott, Jill “Some People Are Just Born Good Writers”

Katragadda, Mounica Interview (2021)

3 thoughts on “Mounica Katragadda: Academic Self

  1. I think it is cool that Monica is in to coding considering not a lot of girls are like it was mentioned in the essay. I am glad she decided to go through with it because everyone should strive to do what they love. I really liked reading about the advice her dad gave her. Academics and grades are important but you should not put too much pressure on yourself. I tend to do that sometimes so it is nice to know that other people feel the same way.

  2. I am also trying to major in computer science. There are many students who have yet to choose a career path, but Monica has set a clear goal, which I think is necessary for success.

  3. After reading your essay on Mounica’s academic self I believe I have truly gotten to know her. I admire her determination to pursue a heavily male-dominated career pathway and still pursue her true passion in biology as well!

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