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Community Service Scholarship Recipient for Spring 2021

We’re happy to announce that Roshan Pillai of Scottsdale, Arizona has been awarded the Spring 2021 Great Value Colleges Community Service Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Our Community Service Scholarship program is based on our belief that community service has the potential to enhance the value of a college education in profound ways. Our recipient for the Spring 2021 award has overcome great obstacles to become a leader to help others.

Roshan is a senior at Basis Scottsdale High School and plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania.

While in high school, Roshan has been awarded several internships. With an interest in research on genetic disorders, his efforts include an internship at TGen, a genomics research institute where he conducted research on Rett Syndrome; the Mayo Clinic Lab where he was the only high school intern involved in stem cell research; the University of California-Research Mentorship Program where he was 1 of 75 students chosen from an international pool; and the MAYO Clinic C.A.R.E.S, where he was the only junior in the inaugural class of summer interns.

In addition to his impressive academic achievements and internships, Roshan has donated over 500 hours in the past 2 years to community service projects. His largest project, L.I.T.E., was started in 2017.

L.I.T.E. stands for “Learning in this Era” and it’s an organization that tutors, mentors, and teaches life skills to refugee students. “My goal,” Roshan says of the LITE program, “is to make sure that each refugee child we help is given the opportunity to succeed in and out of the classroom, no matter where they are from or what language they speak. We focus on making sure that we pass good learning habits to children and develop role models for kids within these communities. Our end goal is to make sure these children can continue to teach other kids through L.I.T.E. or on their own.”

The program has taken on a life of its own and his teenage refugee students now create their own support networks within their communities, passing on lessons for building soft-skills, confidence, and vision to the younger refugee children who see them as role models. Roshan said the students in his organization have improved their school performances. Many have been recognized as top students. “They’ve even become leaders of organizations within their schools, a direct impact of our mentorship program,” Roshan said. 

Roshan co-founded another notable community service initiative in March 2020: the COVID Supply Initiative, founded to supply PPE to Cancer Treatment Centers and their patients. The group earned national media exposure for taking initiative early in the COVID-19 pandemic to support cancer patients and their families. 

With Roshan’s commitment to excellence both academically and in service-oriented community endeavors, we are proud to award this scholarship to him and have no doubt he will continue to see success in all of his endeavors.

For more information about the Community Service Scholarship, click here.