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Six Students Selected As 2009 IAFPE Interns

Anil Saigal

The Indian American for Political Education awarded six student internships at a start studded ceremony on May 30, 2009 at Hilton Garden Inn, Burlington, MA. Melvyn Menezes, Secretary, of IAFPE welcomed all introduced the interns. He described the interns as “academically strong, highly motivated and politically inclined”. The internship committee consisted of Melvyn Menezes, Brinda Kamat, and Anil Saigal. The IAFPE interns for 2009 are Protiva Dutta, Shuchi Mitra, Sachin Patel, Pranav Sachdev, Vikram Saini and Saman Salim.

Protiva Dutta: Protiva hails from Worcester, MA and is the daughter of Rabindra and Chandana Dutta. She is graduating from St. Peter-Marian High School and starting this Fall will be attending College of the Holy Cross in their Biology/Premed program. This is a perfect fit with her career interest in being a physician. Protiva is very strong academically and made the Honor Roll every year in high school. She was inducted into the National Honor Society, selected for outstanding leadership and academic performance. Protiva is a well rounded person and has combined this academic excellence with several all-round achievements. She is a good writer, has written several articles for the Guardian Globe and was the Health Editor of the School Newspaper. In addition, she has been very active in community work. She helped raise over one thousand dollars to benefit St. Jude’s research hospital. Protiva is working in the office of Congressman Jim McGovern.

Shuchi Mitra: Shuchi hails from Worcester, MA and is the daughter of Dr. Sankar and Ratna Mitra. She is a rising Junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is majoring in International Studies and Mathematical Sciences. Her career interests are Political Journalism and Mathematics. Every indication so far is that Shuchi will have a very successful career. She was the Alumni Editor for St.Peter-Marian’s student run newspaper, the Guardian Globe. She was also a political news writer for them, and has written articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Supreme Court nomination of Justice John Roberts, and the United States’ response to Iran’s nuclear power program. In addition, she was Editor-in-chief for the New England High School Journalism Collaborative program in 2006. Shuchi now frequently writes for the WPI newspaper, The Towers. She is an expert in Indian Classical dance and piano, and has helped organize the annual show “Showcase India.” She has been very active in community service and has volunteered at the YMCA, the American Red Cross, and the Worcester Art Museum. Shuchi is working at the Chamber of Commerce at Worcester.

Sachin Patel: Sachin hails from Holden, MA and is the son of Dr. Kirit and Hasumati Patel. He is a rising junior at University of Connecticut, with a double concentration of Economics and Biology. Sachin is an accomplished all-rounder with very diverse talents – academics, soccer referee and volunteer work!  He was very active in the India Society of Worcester and was the Treasurer of the Indian Youth Group in the India Society of Worcester. Sachin is working at the Chamber of Commerce at Worcester.

Pranav Sachdev: Pranav hails from Weston, MA and is the son of Anupam and Dr. Aruna Sachdev. He is a rising junior at Trinity College. He is majoring in Economics and Political Science and his career interests are Law and Finance. Pranav is a multi-talented individual. Academically very strong, he graduated from the Weston High School and was an AP Scholar with Honors and a National Merit Finalist.  In addition he is a very accomplished debater. He attended Stanford Debate Institute and was the captain of the Weston High School Debate team. He has competed in several regional and national tournaments and won the Hall of Fame Policy, the Monticello Policy, and Lexington Public Forum. At Trinity college, he participates in Model UN, is very involved in investment club and mentors an inner city school kid on a one-to-one basis. Pranav is working in State Senator Michael Knapik’s office.

Vikram Saini: Vikram hails from Needham, MA, and is the son of Ajay and Dr. Mina Saini. He is a rising sophmore at Bucknell University. His career interests are Economics, Law, and Politics.
Vikram’s talents are very diverse. He has a very strong academic background and was on the Honor Roll at the Pomfret School in CT. He is a good writer and wrote for the school newspaper Pontefrect. In addition, he is an active sportsman, and excels in squash and crew. Vikram is also very creative. In high school, he initiated and created an independent study program in Chinese, a language not offered in the school. He is also the co-founder of the Pomfret Republicans Club.
Vikram is working in the office of State Senator Richard Tisei (TISAY), who is the Minority Floor Leader. 

Saman Salim: Saman hails from Canton, MA and is the daughter of Tanvir and Sufia Salim. She is a rising junior at U Mass, Amherst, where she is majoring in Political Science and Public Policy. Her career interests are corporate law and international relations. Saman is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. She is a very good writer and is a writer for the Prism Literary Magazine as well as the Spectrum Newspaper. She received the Commonwealth Seminar Certificate awarded by the MA State House. In addition she is actively involved with the Indian Muslim Council, where she has actively helped in fund raising. Saman is working in State Representative Jay Kaufman’s office.

The internship helped me in choosing a career, college and utilizing the network, said Shuchi Mitra and Rohan Vahalia, 2008 IAFPE interns who were invited to speak about their experiences.

The Guest of Honor for the evening was the Honorable Judge Sabita Singh. “Be the best you can be. Make the world the best it can be. Never compromise your character.” said Singh.

Satya Mitra, President of IAFPE-MA, had a simple message for everyone, ABCD: A – Acquire knowledge, B – Be connected, C – Create a goal, measurable and attainable and D – Do give back.

Honorable Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India, NY, and Chief Guest talked about the need to be politically involved. Democracy implies political awareness. Two main issues on which US/India agree and diverge are Terrorism and Environment.  This is free thinking and political awareness. We need to be more united amongst ourselves just like the five fingers, which are strong when they come together as a fist,” said Dayal.

Ajay Saini, Treasurer, thanked the community and informed us that as a result of this event we had met the target in order to be able to fully fund the internship program for 2009. Moved by the event, Bollywood Grill's kind gesture and superior delicacy stole the night!

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