Solana Ranch student wins countywide talent show

Rarely does kicking and screaming win a child anything, much less a cash prize.

Solana Ranch Elementary student Aarav Chandra artfully spun a karate staff in every direction to win his school $10,000 in a countywide talent competition hosted by Super Dentists, a San Diego-based pediatric dentistry and orthodontic office.

At an awards assembly at his school on Friday, Chandra, who’s been doing taekwondo since he was 4 years-old, performed his winning routine to the sound of intense orchestra music and the delight of his classmates.

“The judges put the top ten [videos] on Facebook and whoever got the most ‘likes’ would win,” Chandra said. “I won and I felt very excited and happy for the school.” Last month, elementary and middle school students from across San Diego county sang and danced for judges to be one of the top entrants into an online competition. Then, videos of the top routines were posted online and San Diego residents cast their vote for their favorites.

“We wanted to make a significant amount donation that would entice all the schools to participate,” Kami Hoss, CEO of Super Dentists said. “Also, the kids who win get an article in Seventeen magazine which is really fun.”

Nicole Dekozan of Thurgood Marshall Middle School won a second-place prize of $1,000 and Tate Turner from Green Elementary won a third-place prize of $500 for each of their schools.