Even after graduating from Columbia High School more than 15 years ago, Neil Swami ’03 is still contributing to the Science Olympiad team. He may not be building a Boomilever or studying for Dynamic Planet, which were two of his events when he competed on the team, but he is giving those opportunities to the next generation of students.
Mr. Swami recently made a generous donation to the Columbia Science Olympiad team to help pay for Invitational trips to MIT, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania where the team competes against nationally ranked teams.
The money will also be used to purchase building materials for the Gravity Vehicle, Bottle Rocket, Programmable Detector, Sound of Music and Balsa Plane building events, as well as written resources for the students.
“This donation by Neil Swami reduces the amount of time and energy the team members have to exert fundraising, so they can spend more time focusing on their events,” said Diana Prout, Columbia’s Science Olympiad head coach. “It allows our students to attend high level Invitationals at MIT, Yale, and UPenn where they compete against the top teams in the nation. This donation grants the students on the team the funds to explore and develop a deep interest in the STEM field of their choice.”
Mr. Swami, who graduated from Princeton University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, now works as an investor at Catalyst Health Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on medical technologies. He has continually supported the Science Olympiad program through its recent successes.
“Columbia Science Olympiad’s track record over the last 2+ decades can be considered one of East Greenbush Central School District’s most prominent dynasties in any extracurricular activity – athletics, academics, or otherwise – and deserves only the highest praise and support,” Mr. Swami said. “The Student Olympians, Coaches, and Mrs. Prout work extraordinarily hard through busy academic, extracurricular and personal schedules, yet still remain amazingly humble through their incredible achievements. Their example is one that all should follow and one I’m constantly referencing in my own life today. It’s been an absolute pleasure following the team’s local, state, and national success, and an honor to be able to support the program.”