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5 Indian-Americans Among 500 Dell Scholars

Press Release

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation recently unveiled its latest cohort of Dell Scholars, of which at least five Indian American high school students were honored.

The group of Indian American scholars includes Sita Bhandari of Richland Collegiate High School of Math Science in Dallas, Texas; Amrit Chauhan and Manjot Singh, both from River Valley High School in Yuba City, Calif.; Harleen Kaur of Sunnyside High School in Fresno, Calif.; and Pooja Patel from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla.

In its 15th year, the foundation announced its largest scholars class, naming 500 high school students as scholars.

Over the past 14 years, Dell Scholars has supported more than 4,300 students from across the nation who have demonstrated the drive to succeed and persist toward achieving a bachelor’s degree, the foundation said in an April 10 blog post.

“Our success – 75 percent of our scholars obtain a degree within six years – is primarily attributable to our students’ hard work, perseverance and ability to overcome the substantial obstacles that often derail low-income, first-generation college goers,” the blog post, authored by Todd Penner, said.

Dell Scholars, the blog post continued, would not be possible if not for our partnerships with our 25 College Readiness Programs, which undertake much of the heavy lifting in helping to prepare future scholars for college and are our sole source for the nearly 9,200 student applicants it received for this year’s class.

Their work includes everything from academic and financial preparation, including FAFSA and financial aid education, to personal mentoring and advising, it said.

“As we welcome this new class, we are humbled by working with such amazing students and proud of all they have achieved so far. It’s our mission to provide them with the support they need to complete college and earn their degrees,” the post said.

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation created the Dell Scholars program with the understanding that it takes more than financial help to support students to college graduation. From the start, Dell Scholars was designed as a college completion program that offers support services that go beyond a scholarship check.

The Dell Scholars program offers personalized, multifaceted support to the Scholars that extends beyond the financial support of $20,000, a laptop and textbook credits.

The program offers students and their families services and solutions to address individual and systemic issues that can create major barriers to student success, it said.

As part of the Dell Scholars Program, the foundation looks for "grit, potential and ambition."

The program, said a press release, looks for students who showed grit "by overcoming personal challenges in your life related to your family, school or community," potential by participating in college readiness programs, and "seeking out academic rigor" and ambition by "dreaming of obtaining a college degree."

It said that it will work with students to ensure they have the tools needed to complete college with a degree in hand.

"Become a Dell Scholar, and we’ll help make sure you also become a college graduate," it said.

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