Maryland-based Upakar Foundation Announces 2021 Scholars

Upakar Foundation logo and image Photo: Facebook @upakarfoundation

Six high-achieving Indian-American students have been awarded Upakar Scholarships this year, by the Upakar Foundation in partnership with donors to create memorial scholarships.  The Foundation made the announcement Sept. 27, 2021.

Upakar awarded three students the Khuba Watumull Scholarship; one student the Surendra and Kusum Goel Education Scholarship; one student the Shri Tulsi Ram and Mrs. Shanti Gupta Memorial Scholarship; and one student the Pamecha Family Scholarship, a press release from the organization said.

Upakar Scholars receive up to $8,000 each in tuition scholarship over their four years of undergraduate studies.

This year’s recipients of the Upakar Khuba Watumull Scholarship are Aditya Karthik of Plano, TX, attending the University of Texas, Austin; Ruhi Patel of Stockbridge, GA, attending the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Kanya Shah of East Patchogue, NY, attending Syracuse University.  Neetu Watumull established the Khuba Watumull Scholarship in honor of her late father, a successful businessman who generously supported educational organizations through his philanthropy.

This year’s recipient of the Upakar Surendra and Kusum Goel Scholarship is Nikhil Repalle of Roswell, NM, attending San Jose State University.  The Goel family is passionate about the value of an education and established this scholarship to help a deserving student achieve their higher education goals.

The Upakar Shri Tulsi Ram and Mrs. Shanti Gupta Memorial Scholarship went to Sanjna Tailor of Henderson, NV, attending the University of California Los Angeles.  This scholarship is sponsored by Adarsh and Dr. Suresh C. Gupta M.D. of Potomac, MD, in loving memory of Dr. Gupta’s parents.

This year’s recipient of the Upakar Pamecha Family Scholarship is Nayanthara Thampan of Richmond, TX, attending the University of Houston.  The Pamecha family created their scholarship to advance vocational or technical study at a four-year undergraduate program.

This year’s 6 Scholars join 18 existing Upakar Scholars who have been renewed for the 2021-2022 academic year.

“Upakar is committed to helping our Scholars complete their undergraduate degrees and pursue their career goals.  We will support our Scholars by extending the 4-year time limit of their scholarships if they need to take time away from their studies due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Upakar President Jyotsna Gupta Jalil is quoted saying in the press release.

Upakar was founded in 1997 in the Washington DC metropolitan area to provide highly qualified college-bound Indian-American students with need-based tuition assistance so that they could graduate without a crushing burden of college debt.  To date, Upakar has awarded 179 scholarships for more than $700,000 to students who meet the criteria of being born in India or who have at least one Indian-born parent. The scholar must 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 $2,000 annual scholarship for up to four years.

Upakar scholarship applications for 2022-23 will be available In February 2022. The submission deadline will be April 30, 2022.

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