DURBAN 07-06-2012 Ryan Prithraj. Picture: Jacques Naude

One of Glenwood High School’s top achievers Ryan Prithraj, will be heading off to the White House in the US for the president’s inauguration next year.

Prithraj, 17, is in matric, is a prefect and is the captain of Glenwood’s debating team.

He has just returned from the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Australia.

Last year he attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington and New York.

After placing fifth at the conference he received an invitation to the presidential inaugural conference.

“At the young leaders conference I met Hillary Clinton and ambassadors from countries such as Denmark, Australia and Pakistan. I got to experience views nationally and internationally.”

Prithraj started public speaking when he was in Grade 6.

“At first I wasn’t confident and didn’t want to join debating and public speaking. But the team was chosen randomly and after I started debating, I noticed I had a certain flair for it.

“I am excited to go to Washington,” he said happily. I will be attending an event where Condolezza Rice and Al Gore will be speaking, as well as a dinner at the White House .”

“When I got the invite, I had just got back from a bad debate and it lifted my spirits immediately. I knew that it would be a great career opportunity.”

Prithraj is very sure of the career path he wishes to take. “I would like to be a politician one day, but I also have a passion for law. I think that I could make a difference in this country.”

When he is not debating, Prithraj likes to play golf, and his favourite subject is history.

He also has a passion for helping people.

“I was part of the Smile and Games initiative last year. I got to help underprivileged school kids. I have been gifted with skills, so it is always nice to share some of my knowledge.”

Last year he was the Chief Financial Officer at the Durban Youth Council. - The Mercury