NY student gets Upakar Scholarship

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NEW YORK – A student from Jackson heights, New York, is among six high-achieving Indian-American students awarded Upakar Scholarships. Another Indian American student from New Jersey is among three awarded Upakar Textbook Scholarships

This year’s six Upakar Scholars are:

  • Arpita Abrol, Jackson Heights NY (Virginia for Education scholar)
  • Oeishi Banerjee of Cupertino CA,
  • Karthik Bijoy of Chicago IL,
  • Bhakti Javiya of Detroit MI,
  • Mithali Patel of Cumming GA; and
  • Naazneen Vhora of Harvey IL.

This year’s three Upakar Textbook Scholars are:

  • Sanket Patel of Egg Harbor Township NJ;
  • Vidhi Raju Patel of Springfield MN; and
  • Meena Pyatt of Missouri City TX.

This year’s Scholars join 19 other Upakar Scholars who will be renewed for the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Another year, another great set of Upakar scholars,” Executive Vice President Nirupma Rohatgi said. “Upakar Foundation is proud to support these future leaders to commemorate its nineteenth anniversary of scholarship awards. The key to advancement in the globalized economy is education, and Upakar plays a significant role in facilitating that in our community.”

Upakar Foundation was founded in 1997 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to combat the stereotype that every Indian-American child can afford a four-year college education without being overwhelmed with student debt. According to 2012 government data, one in twelve Indian-Americans lives below the poverty line, which is an annual income of just $23,000 for a family of four.

“Excellence in our community should be rewarded,” Treasurer Nithya Nagarajan said. “After all, financial resources should not be the sole determinant of a child’s level of success. But the need outstrips the current ability to meet it, and cost of higher education continue to rise.”

Over the last 19 years Upakar has awarded 152 scholarships totaling over $600,000 to students who meet the scholarship criteria.  It is a merit and financial based scholarship and requires the scholar to have been born in India or having at least one Indian-born parent and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Financial need is determined by the family’s adjusted gross income. Scholars must have attained a raw high school GPA above 3.6. Finally, as long as a scholar’s GPA exceeds 3.3 in college, Upakar will renew the scholarship for up to four years.