Hello everyone! My name is Dhruva Lepakshi and I’m a freshman studying at Marlboro High School. During this school year, I have managed to get two honor rolls and I want to continue persevering with my academic honors throughout the school year. I’m an active participant in these school clubs, DECA, FBLA, and JSA. These clubs have given me the opportunity to interact with several people as well as improvising on my public speaking skills.

Theater club and Bollywood dancing classes were my forays into arts. Hip-hop has helped me relax under stressful circumstances and has made me interact more as a person. Whenever I freestyle in school, people usually get very excited and that gives me a positive boost for my own self-confidence. Nowadays, I have a passion for putting out all my songs on streaming platforms and eventually make an album with producers that will help and guide me.

My dream is to complete my master’s in business and be an independent entrepreneur, and with the governor’s award, I have gained a vision for how I would bring hip-hop and the impact it has had on me to the people around me and eventually the world.


The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

16 Mount Bethel Road Suite 202, Warren, NJ 07059
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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.