Kush Patel, an Indian American senior at Righetti High School in Santa Maria, California, is one of the 300 students who will receive the Gates Scholarship to pay for his education at Brown University, according to the Santa Maria Times.
The Gates Scholarship was established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last year and covers the remaining cost of an awardees’ education.
“This is something my parents sacrificed for us,” Patel, whose family came to the U.S. from India in 2014, told the Santa Maria Times, adding that he would want them to be back in India where all their memories are.
After moving to the U.S., Patel attended Cabrillo High School for a year and then transferred to Righetti High School where he is a member of the Film Club, Key Club, the school’s varsity golf and tennis teams.
Patel is also involved in the community and serves time at the Food Bank of Santa Maria, the Marian Hospital, the Desi Home Care (elderly), and the Scrutiny Non-Profit Surgical Camp in India, according to the school newspaper.
Patel told the school newspaper that he is “extremely humbled and blessed to be in this position. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Gates Foundation, my counselor, teachers, friends, and my wonderful family.”
“I want to specially thank my grandfather in India. He wanted to pursue a college education when he was young but could not afford to do so. I thank the man above for letting me do what my grandfather could not,” he added.