Diya Desai Named 2021 Times Student-Athlete of the Year

Congratulations to Diya Desai for being selected as the 2021 Times Sports Awards Student-Athlete of the Year!


Article from the Shreveport Times,  written by Jimmy Watson, published on May 8, 2021.  Link to the article

Long known for turning out some of the top student-athletes with emphasis on “student,” in the country, retiring Caddo Magnet principal Michael Ilgenfritz has another one in senior Diya Desai.

A National Merit Finalist and the Caddo Parish High School Student of the Year, Desai scored a 36 on the ACT, 1500 on the SAT and posts a 4.895 GPA while qualifying for state on the cross country team.

Desai’s list of accomplishments during her senior year would make even the most energetic person feel tired. But because of her extraordinary accomplishments while competing in athletics, Desai has been selected as the 2021 Times Sports Awards Student-Athlete of the Year. She will receive a plaque from sponsors LSU Health Shreveport, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and Advance Awards and Gifts.

INTERNATIONAL IMPACT: Diya Desai finishes high in national competition

Desai was involved in an international science competition where her research could have a positive impact on the world stage.

Caddo Magnet's Diya Desai

“And to make it even better, Diya is as humble of a person as you will ever meet,” Ilgenfritz said. “She is always willing to lend a helping hand and never acts like something is beneath her.”

Desai is the founder of “Be the Change” Environmental Program which was begun to raise awareness about plastic bag pollution and presented at the Red River Cleanup. She handed out reusable bags at a Shreveport grocery store to encourage people to stop using plastic bags. She launched a statewide billboard campaign in five Louisiana cities, partnering with Lamar Advertising, through a grant from the Jane Goodall foundation.

She is president of Magnet’s National Honor Society, a Mustang student ambassador, mentors younger students on the PSAT exam and volunteers at her Hindu Temple.

Desai has won a multitude of awards in the Louisiana Region I Science Fair and was selected as oral presenter at the Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. She was selected as the Louisiana representative for the National Junior Stockholm Water Prize and a finalist in the U.S. Spellman Clean Technology Competition.