Leena Mehendale, Dallas, Texas – 2022 Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr. Exemplary Citizen Award Winner
Leena Mehendale, daughter of Neelesh and Kimberly Mehendale, is a graduate of The Hockaday School and is currently attending MIT as a member of the women’s soccer team. In her senior year of high school, Leena served as President of the Hockaday Social Impact Board, Captain of Varsity Cross Country, Captain of Varsity Soccer, and Captain of Varsity Track and Field. Having been a member of the Social Impact Board since freshman year, Leena dedicated much of her time to community service. She served as Co-Chair of the Hockaday Nonprofit Fashion Show, which raised over $5,000 for Genesis Women’s Shelter, and co-founded her own nonprofit run2learn, which has raised over $5,000 for United to Learn. In the realm of athletics, Leena earned 12 varsity letters over 4 years across 3 sports: cross country, soccer, and track and field. As the first Hockaday student to captain 3 teams in 1 year, she helped lead her teams to a 2nd place SPC finish in cross country as well as 2 SPC championships – 1 in soccer and 1 in track and field. Individually, Leena earned all-SPC honors in all 3 sports in each of the 3 years that the championships were held (SPC Championships were canceled in fall 2020/spring 2021 due to COVID-19). She also earned the MVP Award for Varsity Soccer, MVP and Coaches’ Award for Varsity Cross Country, and the Coaches’ Award for Varsity Track and Field. In the classroom, Leena earned Cum Laude Society honors and was a member of the Head of School List for all 4 years of high school.
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