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Pratheek Mandalapu

Pratheek Mandalapu

Pratheek is a high school student at International Connections Academy (iNaCA). This 15-year-old elite tennis player lives in Barcelona, Spain.

A promising junior tennis player, Pratheek enrolled in traditional school in Plantation, Florida, the first year he decided to pursue his tennis dreams full time. Pratheek and his family believed that his traditional school would enable him to practice tennis year-round in Florida’s sunny climate while he also carried a full academic course load. It quickly became clear, however, that it was virtually impossible for Pratheek to juggle six hours a day of tennis practice with another six hours a day of attending traditional school classes.

Seeking more scheduling flexibility but not willing to forgo a rigorous education, Pratheek’s family enrolled him in the Connections Academy program in 2011. When the family moved to India in 2012, they enrolled him in iNaCA for eighth grade. Despite living outside of the United States, Pratheek could continue to take advantage of the rigorous Connections Academy curriculum and certified teachers.

Now in his third year at iNaCA, Pratheek is soaring in school and in tennis from his new home base of Spain. He is taking a full schedule of rigorous courses. His favorite classes are AP Psychology, AP English Language and Composition, Honors Chemistry, and Honors Precalculus. Pratheek says he likes all of his teachers: “I like that our teachers are always available to help us when we need it.” He singles out Ms. Sheinberg in particular. “She is extremely nice and helpful with my lessons, and understanding of my schedule,” Pratheek notes.

For Pratheek, scheduling flexibility and the freedom to work at his own pace is the best part about iNaCA. “With iNaCA, schoolwork is still highly intense, but I can complete it at my own pace,” he says. “I always planned on being ahead in my courses and finishing the mandatory courses for college ahead of time. With iNaCA, I was able to progress ahead in two courses over the summer, not having to take an entire school year to complete them. In addition, I am a year ahead in my English courses, something I most probably would not have been able to do in my traditional school.”

Pratheek intends to graduate from iNaCA and attend college while pursuing his tennis dreams. “I would like to become a professional tennis player. However, school is equally important to me. After graduating, I will go to college, where I will play college tennis and most likely major in law or medicine.”

iNaCA has definitely helped me in my educational goals. While achieving my goals comes from my time and effort, I would not be where I am today without iNaCA.
— Pratheek