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Mihir Mirch

1975

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am willing to assiduously expand on my Computer Science knowledge through research, internships, and other opportunities. I am an active leader and problem-solver in my community at Los Altos High School, and I plan to continue being so at UC Berkeley, the school I am committed to for the Fall of 2021 to the Spring of 2025! At UC Berkeley, I was selected as a finalist for the SEEDS Scholars (STEM) Honors Program which selects 200 students from a pool of 112,000 students every year! Every week, I tutor chess at a small cafe in the Bay Area where I meet and play with my wonderful students! This is my part-time job, but I believe that in college, I will have to find more work as a college student. I'm really grateful for the support and generosity of your kind contributions to help me attend college without worrying about whether I will have money to have a roof over my head or for tuition costs to attend my classes. I have to come up with $43,000 every year for the full cost of attendance, and I'm grateful for anything that can help! Thank you!

Education

University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Computer Science
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
    • Accounting and Computer Science
  • Minors:
    • Data Processing
  • GPA:
    4

Los Altos High

High School
2017 - 2021
  • GPA:
    3.9

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
    • Engineering, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Computer Software

    • Dream career goals:

      I want to be a CEO and build a scholarship to help underserved students in STEM.

    • Software Engineer Intern

      ServiceNow
      2022 – 2022
    • Academic Intern

      UC Berkeley Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
      2022 – 2022
    • Software Engineer

      NWF Strategies
      2021 – 2021
    • Member of Technical Staff at Hackathon

      LAHS Hacks
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Director of Sales and Finance

      Science Nation
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Math Instructor

      Tutree
      2019 – 20201 year
    • CEO, Founder, Head Chess Coach

      Chess With Mihir
      2018 – Present6 years

    Sports

    Cycling

    Club
    2016 – 20204 years

    Awards

    • Performance Bikes Trail Hunter

    Research

    • Mathematics and Computer Science

      Independent — Research Assistant
      2020 – Present
    • Accounting and Computer Science

      Independent — Research Assistant
      2020 – 2020

    Arts

    • LAHS Hacks

      Visual Arts
      lahshacks.org
      2020 – Present
    • Independent

      Photography
      Alice in Wonderland, The Wiz
      2018 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      The Global Uplift Project — Liaison
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Indian Classical Music and Arts Foundation — Musical Artist that sung to raise funds for the victims of Nepal
      2015 – 2017
    • Volunteering

      Math4Buddies — Math tutor for first/second third graders
      2015 – 2017
    • Volunteering

      Bay Area Chess — Chess Instructor/volunteer
      2015 – Present

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Act Locally Scholarship
    Growing up in a South Asian household, I was predominantly surrounded by a family supportive of my future in engineering. Since my youth, I am lucky to have had the ability to play with Arduinos and breadboards, but for years, I wasn't grateful for what I was learning. I felt like I was pushed in one direction that my parents had control over. But ever since I was introduced to CS classes in high school, I took my own self-interest in coding, and I felt really comfortable opening IntelliJ and starting a new project. Going to a Silicon Valley high school also helped because I was introduced to friends from all backgrounds that valued technology. With students, I worked from our school club to fix broken laptops and donate them to at-risk and historically underrepresented students to provide online education. I felt proud to have made contributions diverse community. I worked with organizations such as EqOpTech and Science Nation to donate recycled, e-wasted computers. I installed Ubuntu on these laptops to provide easy access to important online resources such as Khan Academy! In high school, I started my own chess tutoring service and spent a week building my own website to interactively solve problems, and play games using board editor plugins via WordPress. After having understood concepts such as domain and hosting. Later on, I wanted to learn more about web development with HTML, CSS, and JSS. After pursuing a research project with my Economics teachers, I successfully made a Django-based website that scraped stock market metrics to educate anyone on investment decisions. Ultimately, I am driven by social impact and want to help educate others using my skillset in the tech world! Something that is important to me is teaching. This is something I appreciate doing for my community in general. When I was in 8th grade, I volunteered at a local church to help students learn chess and I continued doing this over my summer and winter breaks for 2 years! In 10th grade, I was grateful to receive a Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. President and White House for my hours of dedication in helping my community and I continued this movement to teach math in high school and now Computer Science in college. When I was first introduced to Computer Science, I sought help from mentors that guided me through all of my introductory classes, and today, am proud to say I am now a mentor myself and I am also helping onboard more mentors to improve our CS community to include all who need help.
    Software Engineers Scholarship
    Wearable devices are the future of technology because they are so seamless yet impactful. I actually made my first hardware hand watch in the 7th grade for an invention project. The goal was to make a new innovation that would use technology to benefit society in its offering of simplicity and resourcefulness. When coming up with an idea, I pondered what already hasn't been made yet? What can I build that could help the world? After scrapping a hundred ideas, I was able to narrow it down to a wearable device. In the very same year, the Apple Watch came out which motivated me to go with building a watch. I heard about Google Glasses as well and Google Cardboard, both of which seemed to explore the Augmented Reality space. But, I wanted the watch to have a more impactful use case that would help people. I immediately thought of people with disabilities and how a watch would serve as a necessary tool that make their world much better with the advent of a new technology. After going through several ideas, I finally deduced that I would build a watch to help the blind. How would it help the blind? Simple. I program an Arduino and an ultrasonic sensor to fetch data regarding the proximity of ultrasonic wave feedback. After running through test logs, I can see that my ultrasonic sensor knows its distances well. I can clearly see how far or close my hand is from a piezoelectric buzzer. I actually had experience with this earlier when making my first self-driving car. Of course, it didn't incorporate the advanced ML concepts that a Tesla has, but it definitely had a perfect record for not hitting anything. After replicating the same concept of ultrasonic sensors from my car to the watch, I needed a way to alert the disabled user that there is an object that the watch detected. Since the blind still have the capability to hear, I added a piezoelectric buzzer that would beep at different rates depending on how close or far you were from the object detected by the ultrasonic sensor. I implemented a correlation between the two using a basic linear formula and finally, the readings on the sensor were able to output a distance which would serve as an input to a new function that would trigger how many pulses my buzzer had to sound per minute. I realized then that I essentially was building a sonar detection device, but for the hand. I learned in that same moment that 20% of the dolphin's brain is actually used by the dolphin which gives them an added sense for sonar detection which means that they have their eyes and then some. Amazing! Of course, this project was not more than a proof of concept. There were several problems like the weight of the watch nearly taking up a whole arm to wear and the weight was also cumbersome. But in the end, it was a functional wearable device that changed human beings hopefully for the better. Though I initially wanted to help everyone, I came up with an idea that would only support the blind or visually impaired and though it was small scale, it definitely was offered as a useful gadget that could be needed. After doing some research, no such watch was patented, but there were several patented ideas to help the disabled with the addition of ultrasonic sensors. I remember seeing glasses and even walking sticks with an ultrasonic sensor to similarly help the blind, so though it was not wearable, it was still able to help make a strong impact in society to keep the visually impaired more alert of their surroundings, and ultimately keep them safe. I was proud of this, and after taking up software engineering, I left to help others with websites and apps ever since. At my current internship, I am building a design to help bring coffee chats and better interaction among people at workplaces. I am also trying to build on my knowledge of the MERN stack, MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js to build my new sites and I hope I can continue to be impactful. In college, we are loaded with projects and assignments, but it is hard to go out of your way to build a personal project. You must be curious and willing to learn. Of course, it cannot be done in a day or a weekend. It will take time, but the capacity is within ourselves and really anyone can change the world in any way they drive themselves to. Looking back at that wearable device I made in 7th grade, I wish I continued working on it. I would probably make it smaller. I might even want to patent it and build off of it as a startup. If I get into Apple, I'll try to integrate it to help the blind and even much more disabled people. I want everyone to benefit from technology and wearable devices as I mentioned were seamless and thus, awesome. If I get into Google, I will build on the Google watches to work on helping people. Google has already included language recognition into its watches to help people that do not know each other's language, communicate. Adding more features to this would be amazing! From Iron Man's ring suit to a simple watch that everyone can wear, technology helps us all and has also been recognized to help us stay fit. Fitbit was a popular company in my high school years where people were motivated to exercise and meet a daily goals. After taking a Nutritional Sciences class in college, I learned that exercise is truly amazing and important because the leading cause of death is predicted to be Cardiovascular disease caused by inactivity and obesity. This is actually reported to reduce the life expectancy of humans due to poor diet and exercise. A simple watch is a daily reminder to do many things. And its potential is really unlimited. After writing this essay, I'm going back to work on my seventh-grade project!
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    One thing that gives me hope for the future is that we are starting to acknowledge environmental concerns regarding climate change by taking action to approach a more eco-friendly future. Living in the state of California my whole life, I have been introduced to myriad concerns of climate change, be it drought, fires, or global warming all due to the incessant use of non-renewable sources of energy. By acknowledging these issues through our public education system, we are begetting the future leaders that will call for the necessary changes that will align our future to become eco-friendly. Greta Thunberg as becoming an activist has inspired many including myself to drive for this change. As a government, California has promoted that everyone will be given the mandatory option of buying an electric vehicle by 2030. What gives me hope for the future is the overall progression that we didn't acknowledge not so long ago. What gives me hope is that the majority of the world recognizes these issues and is willing to act now rather than later. There are many projections cast by Data Scientists that I have seen through personal research and through coursework at UC Berkeley indicating the nearness of irreversible global warming. More than ever, the government is needed to lawfully restrict energy use to renewable sources and these changes are being made aware under the Biden administration which I am very proud of. I want to grow up in a world where everyone can lead a comfortable life, and I want the same for future generations as well. I know that adapting to change is hard, but in the grand scheme of things, it is vital for our world to heal.
    Bold Talent Scholarship
    One of my biggest talents is music. From a young age, I loved to sing, dance, and play the piano. I was fortunate to even learn from teachers all my life in music classes with friends where we could lead a band! One of my favorite things to do, in adolescence, was to make mashups, looking for two songs that were impeccable duos that rhythmically and melodically harmonized as if they were the same song all along. But what mesmerized me about music was its impact! When coming to a music class, I had learned that my teacher had saved many lives through music. By teaching, he was able to absolve many of depression and found that many found a new purpose. I knew I could make a similar impact, so I started making songs to build fundraisers around the world. In 2015, I had used my talents to sing for the victims of the Nepal Earthquake that lost many their homes and family. While perservering through challenging high school days, I still made it a point to sing for graduations and talent shows because I loved being with a group of people that were so committed to learning, adapting to new techniques and even dancing! Personally, music was a rewarding experiences that helped me though my personal down days and it still does. I have tried to pickup new instruments while in college such as the drums and guitar to even help friends when low. On a Friday night, I invite friends to just jam it out in a karaoke night and it really helps pacify a lot of the mental health issues that we each deal with. I want to continue my passion for using music as a tool not only to dance, but to help others!
    Bold Technology Matters Scholarship
    One technology I find to be most consequential in my life and hopefully a lot of people's lives are medical technologies. One of the most popular technologies of today is the vaccine, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for it. When I first heard of its development, I prayed everyday that everyone who was able to take the vaccine could be a recipient of it. I had hoped that the 1 year lockdown at home ceased at last, and I was amazed to see that the administration of vaccines was the most efficient thing the human race did together. After my mom had booked the CVS appointment to get the vaccines, my dad and I came out of our rooms that had collected dust for so long. As we drove over, we were reminded of the California roads and felt the warmth of the sun. It was at last a miracle that we were able to go outside without a problem! But as everything seemed to get better and society seemed to regain a lot of ground, the Omicron variant was recently released, and I had just found out that my mother got breast cancer. She moved to India for treatment as American treatment was extremely expensive. She also has family there to look after her during her hospital visits. After searching for doctors and oncologists, my prayers were answered, and she was proudly able to enter remission as of yesterday! I couldn't be more proud of her and after a month of panic, everything came together. The only thing I wish that could change in the advancements of today is to create a vaccine for immunocomprimised people like my mother. The miracle vaccines of today still have a lot of work, and I hope my mother can be innoculated to prevent any possible harm to her. In the growth of biotechnology, there is also terrible pricing that needs to change. At UC Berkeley, I took a class in Economics, and the biggest chapter we covered in the course was human satisfaction in standards of living. One of the worst countries while listing out such standards was the United States of America. I believe that biotechnologies are things to be excited about nevertheless, it needs to be more accessible to Americans and people around the world. There should be no restrictions on the eligibility of vaccine requirements and such advancements are something I am willing to work on at Berkeley and my personal vocation! Thank you!
    AMPLIFY No Code Scholarship
    In the heart of Silicon Valley lives world-renowned companies involved in technological innovation. Growing up in such an environment fueled my passion for Computer Science and Statistics. In 6th grade, I engineered a car to follow a line using infrared sensors. Adding ultrasonic sensors would make sure it avoided obstacles in its path. After thousands of failures, I finally created a model of what Waymo at Google was researching right across the street from my apartment. In 7th grade, I was asked to fashion an unpatented design. I came up with the Ultra Watch, a device that would help the blind navigate their surroundings. From Arduinos to breadboards, I worked my fingers to the bone on every project. In high school, I self-educated myself in the art of coding to implement algorithms that solved my math homework. I got extremely creative with Computer Science, but I felt limited as I was constrained to only one programming language: Java. I wanted to explore every edge of field, so I reached out to my counselor for help in furthering my coding skills. He introduced me to the Foothill College Dual Enrollment Program. As a 9th grader, I was nervous to take college courses with people five years my senior. But being excited to take on the challenge, I immediately signed up for ‘JavaScript for Programmers.’ In this course, I delved into web design, and I picked it up quicky enough to tutor my college classmates through simple programs and websites. After attaining such skills, I applied them in a research project with my Microeconomics teacher years later. Currently, I am working on a project with my Computer Science teacher to determine when all students can return safely back to our school using Data Science. We are basing our conclusions from Governor Gavin Newsom’s guidelines and our model predicts that we can return safely in 2021. I want to contribute to the no-code environment in order to better analyze trends. I want to configure apps that will disseminate information in a matter of seconds and use Tableau to visualize my data.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    Winner
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I sat in my chair while watching this news segment, I was paralyzed. My dad was just as frozen as I was. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal in 2015. This catastrophe devastated millions, depriving them of food, shelter, and hope. Though I was on the opposite side of the world, my family in India felt the effects of such devastation, and through them, so did I. I would not leave my room that night, and I couldn’t sleep; I just sat and prayed that there wouldn’t be an aftershock. It all looked like a bad dream, but this wasn’t a fictional dystopia, it was reality. When I got up the next morning, I tried to set aside my fears, but I knew that the interim tents for housing and the scant food would not be enough. I was driven to spearhead an initiative for the babies that faced malnourishment and the women that were burying their husbands. At my next Indian Classical Music classes, I heard friends discuss the traumas from Nepal. With relief, I realized I wasn’t alone. I had the perfect group that was driven to aid these victims. I took the initiative to lead my friends from music class to help feed and shelter affected peoples through musical expression. My plan was to mix Indian and American music and fund efforts through performances. I stayed after class for an hour weekly with my peers to work on our performance. I assigned team members and created a mashup with a friend, Keshav. We committed hours every day to finish a piece that would be presented to thousands of people in our community. I was very passionate about sharing my ideas with the world, even working until 3 a.m. for my song. I reached out to my teacher, Mahesh Kale, for help identifying a venue, and he recommended a sizable theater in Sunnyvale, California. After several weeks of coordinating a marketing campaign, I realized my vision for bringing together a community and a group of artists to share their voices and give light to a global issue. Along with a standing ovation, our group received $5,000 for Nepal relief efforts. After this event, I learned something about myself: I could apply my skills and talents to address the problems of today. I decided to try using chess, computer science, and math to make a similar difference. In the years that followed, I volunteered as a Bay Area Chess coach and a math tutor at Tutree and Buddies4Math in my local community. I also brought life to recycled computers using my computer science knowledge to give disadvantaged students access to educational platforms like YouTube and Khan Academy. I used my knowledge in Ubuntu/Lubuntu OS to provide such platforms and help further bridge the digital divide in America. I even raised funds for The Global Uplift Project which contributes to providing education for over 200 students in Kirinyaga Country, Kenya with improved educational facilities and curriculums. The healing in Nepal that I took a proud part in molded me into a fearless and resilient leader who understands that though there are dark times, it is important to remain persistent in fostering hope. In college, I look forward to using my skills to keep making a positive impact in more communities and to enlighten more students on their path to success in their academic careers. Currently, I have been accepted into the early admission pool of applicants at the University of California, Berkeley, and I plan to attend this Fall in the Computer Science major. I plan to challenge the status quo and inspire change in my local community and in communities around the world with profound resilience. I was also selected as a finalist in the Division of Equity and Inclusion where I plan to use my skillset in music to continue volunteering for my local community in Berkeley, California, and around the world. At Berkeley, I also plan to participate in Peace Corps and continuously use my resources for societal good.
    Future Leaders in Technology Scholarship - High School Award
    Doorstep by Mihir Mirchandani Right at my doorstep lies the heart of the Silicon Valley where I am constantly reminded to innovate and kindle my enthusiasm for technology while promoting societal good. In 6th grade, I engineered a car to follow a line using infrared sensors. Adding ultrasonic sensors would make sure it avoided obstacles in its path. After thousands of failures, I finally created a model of what Waymo at Google was researching right across the street from my apartment. In 7th grade, I was asked to fashion an unpatented design. I came up with the Ultra Watch, a device that would help the blind navigate their surroundings. From Arduinos to breadboards, I worked my fingers to the bone on every project. In high school, I self-educated myself in the art of coding to implement algorithms that solved my math homework. I wanted to explore every edge of the field, so I reached out to my counselor for help in furthering my coding skills. He introduced me to the Foothill College Dual Enrollment Program. As a 9th grader, I was excited to take on the challenge, so I immediately signed up for ‘JavaScript for Programmers.’ In this course, I delved into web design, and I picked it up quickly enough to tutor my college classmates through simple programs and websites. After 11th grade ended, I was ready to explore internships and the practice of industry standards. However, in the wake of the pandemic, I had to change course. This left me with an empty summer, but I would not leave my ambitions to wane. I connected with the microeconomic teacher at my school for advice on a summer project and to his recommendation, I began studying stock valuations. The goal of the project was to appraise stocks based on the company’s assets, debts, and earnings. I took this idea a step further by automating a website to share my results with the world. I combined my knowledge in Computer Science and Economics to determine this value and I could not wait to see our algorithms function. As I traced the contours of the website, I honed my Django, HTML, and CSS skills like Web Developers. Judiciously determining that sales, revenue, and enterprise value were the biggest factors helped me think like Financial Analysts. Using statistics libraries and web scraping data with BeautifulSoup4 to code algorithms helped me visualize data sets like Data Scientists. After 51 failed attempts, I was finally ready to share my work with my microeconomics teacher. He loved my work because my website made it simple to determine stock valuations. Furthermore, he was proud that I dabbled in Data Science in consequence of researching stocks. At last, my long nights of research paid off. Currently, I have taken myriad courses at Foothill and at my high school in Computer Science to continue honing my skills in the craft. I have taken courses like Introduction to Computer Science, AP Computer Science A, Advanced Data Structures, Embedded Systems, Networking, JavaScript, Java Methodologies for Object-Oriented Programming, and several Udemy courses that have prepared me for Computer Science principles and theory. But more so than not, I find myself learning best when I'm challenging myself to do personal projects. I thoroughly endorse the Learning by Doing motto and I believe that active learning, in this way, truly prepares me for my future professional endeavors. I hope to continue building such projects at UC Berkeley, where I plan to double major. After graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Computer Science and Data Science, I want to assiduously follow my dreams of building on my autonomous car and work at Waymo. I want to continuously innovate, inspire, and research, with the goal of promoting societal good. This summer, I am already embarking on my next impactful journey at Code Ninjas where I will tutor future STEM majors and point them in the direction of learning via projects as well. In this light, students will continuously innovate just as I do and together, we are passionate to keep improving our projects and to influence a better society right outside everyone's doorstep.
    Brady Cobin Law Group "Expect the Unexpected" Scholarship
    Pawn Promotion The earliest memory I have is of my parents playing tug of war. Except I was the rope. Both my arms stretched as my parents pulled tight. “Mihir, you have to stay with me,” Dad exclaimed. "Don't listen to him,” Mom declared. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I remembered the values I had learned from Indian culture: family, love, and kindness. Before I could react, a divorce court ruling would decide that I would stay with Dad and meet Mom on the weekends. As a child with a single father, I did not have the available resources my peers did. But my financial adversity was the least of my worries. Every night, I called Mom to check in on her. However, our chats were constrained to a time limit Dad placed. Our conversations molded into arguments Dad would create with Mom about raising me correctly. Profanity was passed around my house as second nature. And, if I did not comply with my parents’ demands, I would be admonished for my failure in endorsing them through their incessant arguments. Growing up, I tried to ameliorate their animosity, however, I only prolonged the inevitable fighting. Intimidated by these disputes, I sought freedom through personal interests. I kept my mind busy by exploring the world of chess and music. By practicing every day, I self-educated myself in these two passions. I made a commitment based on a drive, but I didn't know whether that drive was fueled by my desire to circumvent my family or by my true willingness to learn. Over one summer, I asked Dad to put me in a chess summer camp. After enrolling, I immediately noticed fifty students crowded around the instructor, International Chess Master Emory Tate. At first, coach Tate was stringent, but after a while, I noticed how affable he was. I felt shy about playing against other students, so he took me under his wing to play with me. No matter how many moves I tried, I always lost. But every time I knocked my king over, he encouraged me to try again. I idolized him for his drive and vibrancy. Seven years later, I heard the terrible news. I was paralyzed. After playing at a chess tournament, I was informed that coach Tate passed away. All I remembered was his altruism and the laughs we shared together. That day, I had a vocation to be a chess instructor and to carry on his legacy. On my first day at chess summer camp, the first question I received was, “When is snack break, coach?” The truth was that I was the most boring chess coach ever. At that moment, I remembered how coach Tate worked excellently with kids through his unconditional love. He engaged us through perseverance daily. Similarly, I organized games for students to compete together, requiring that they do not resign their kings. After keeping our noses to the grindstone, my eight-year-old students made notable progress in playing opening variations impeccably. When I asked them about snack break, they stayed for their games and politely requested, “Five more minutes coach.” In retrospect, I know that my parents’ decisions have made a significant impact on my childhood. But I am blessed to have positive role models in my life that have inculcated in me the desire to be a resolute and extrovertive leader. In the last four years, I have taught chess through my service, Chess With Mihir, and through the school chess club. At school, I also help high school students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. At home, these students feel neglected similar to how I felt in my youth. But I make it a point to meet them weekly to radiate positive energy and hearten them. In honor of coach Tate, his morals of positive mentorship and inclusiveness will always remain a part of my leadership and ultimately, my identity. Legacy to me means leaving behind hope and discipline. To have a legacy means to have a shared past with another and carry on the ideas brought to me by that significant other. Legacies to me have the importance of continuing one's identity for future generations and helping others realize that though we have pains, we are always together. The legacy I want to leave behind is that of a positive role model and a mentor. I do this daily as a loving coach for my students just as Coach Tate imparted on me.
    COVID-19 Perspective Scholarship
    Since the first case of the coronavirus, my views on local news have changed more than ever. Currently, I watch the NBC Bay Area News daily, and it has helped me through the entire wild journey of the pandemic. Every night, I used the news as an opportunity to thoroughly reflect on the fact that I am extremely lucky to have a welcoming and diverse community that inspires and helps all. For instance, in early April, the news imparted with me how citizens of Italy were dancing and singing in their balconies to stand in solidarity with those who were adversely affected due to the pandemic. This heartwarming scene was indelible in enthusing everyone amid these terrible times. The local news shared how citizens of Santa Clara County were sharing in these feelings and expressed themselves similarly. I, too, took part in expressing myself by participating in the high school virtual talent show to uplift the moods of everyone through this depressing era. Together, my piano and I revitalized the school's spirit and gave everyone a chance to sing along. Later that summer, I learned of students inspired to show accurate counts of cases by making websites. I saw students working closely with data to better track the case counts and how pervasive this pandemic had become. When I heard of this, I immediately jumped onto my computer and programmed spreadsheets to take the data I had learned from these student-made websites and calculate trends as to how many cases there would be tomorrow or this weekend. This expanded to a Data Science project I did with my Computer Science and Statistics teacher who helped me decipher the data and form a more accurate trajectory. In the news, I also some of my classmates helping small businesses who suffered from the pandemic. I also saw high school students recycling home goods and turning them into masks due to the shortage of masks. I was able to help my friends spearhead this initiative to help small businesses survive through these unforgiving times with no activity. I was also able to help in the donation of masks to healthcare workers in need. I was also able to donate masks internationally to students in Kenya and Nepal through the Global Uplift Project. The societal good that I was inspired by through my local news helped me further promote that societal good in ways that I could help. Finally, the news reflected some of the worst news as well: Asian American Hate. After viewing the reporting of brutal Asian American attacks in my local community, I was infuriated, but also extremely scared as I am personally Asian American. I felt secluded in this nature and was even terrified of stepping outside my own house. I was fearful for my Asian American neighbors and friends, and I prayed that this would go away, but it hasn't. I am blessed to have the support of the news today in promoting peaceful protest and peace. The news not only informs of this devastation but also shares in the paying of homage and respect to those who were innocently hurt. Every day, the news stays hopeful and optimistic that this civil unrest will come to an end and is hospitable to all in discussing any personal traumas. Overall, I have viewed society change through the eyes of the news and I believe that the pandemic has greatly separated all of us. But, never have I ever felt more connected and together than with the local news which has welcomed me to chat with close friends and inspire all to challenge the status quo.
    Charles R. Ullman & Associates Educational Support Scholarship
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I sat in my chair while watching this news segment, I was paralyzed. My dad was just as frozen as I was. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal in 2015. This catastrophe devastated millions, depriving them of food, shelter, and hope. Though I was on the opposite side of the world, my family in India felt the effects of such devastation, and through them, so did I. I would not leave my room that night, and I couldn’t sleep; I just sat and prayed that there wouldn’t be an aftershock. It all looked like a bad dream, but this wasn’t a fictional dystopia, it was reality. When I got up the next morning, I tried to set aside my fears, but I knew that the interim tents for housing and the scant food would not be enough. I was driven to spearhead an initiative for the babies that faced malnourishment and the women that were burying their husbands. At my next Indian Classical Music classes, I heard friends discuss the traumas from Nepal. With relief, I realized I wasn’t alone. I had the perfect group that was driven to aid these victims. I took the initiative to lead my friends from music class to help feed and shelter affected peoples through musical expression. My plan was to mix Indian and American music and fund efforts through performances. I stayed after class for an hour weekly with my peers to work on our performance. I assigned team members and created a mashup with a friend, Keshav. We committed hours every day to finish a piece that would be presented to thousands of people in our community. I was very passionate about sharing my ideas with the world, even working until 3 a.m. for my song. I reached out to my teacher, Mahesh Kale, for help identifying a venue, and he recommended a sizable theater in Sunnyvale, California. After several weeks of coordinating a marketing campaign, I realized my vision for bringing together a community and a group of artists to share their voices and give light to a global issue. Along with a standing ovation, our group received $5,000 for Nepal relief efforts. After this event, I learned something about myself: I could apply my skills and talents to address the problems of today. I decided to try using chess, computer science, and math to make a similar difference. In the years that followed, I volunteered as a Bay Area Chess coach and a math tutor at Tutree and Buddies4Math in my local community. I also brought life to recycled computers using my computer science knowledge to give disadvantaged students access to educational platforms like YouTube and Khan Academy. I used my knowledge in Ubuntu/Lubuntu OS to provide such platforms and help further bridge the digital divide in America. I even raised funds for The Global Uplift Project which contributes to providing education for over 200 students in Kirinyaga Country, Kenya with improved educational facilities and curriculums. The healing in Nepal that I took a proud part in molded me into a fearless and resilient leader who understands that though there are dark times, it is important to remain persistent in fostering hope. In college, I look forward to using my skills to keep making a positive impact in more communities and to enlighten more students on their path to success in their academic careers. On my first day at Bay Area Chess, I walked in hopeful to teach eager students and to discuss insightful strategies, tactics, and variations of openings. As soon as I started lecturing, the first question I received was, “When is snack break?” The truth was that I was the most boring chess coach. My trophies and eight years of experience did not matter. I realized I had to make chess fun. So, the very next day, I brought jokes to class. I let down my hair and used my comedic personality to captivate the students, and it was working—until they wanted to be comedians instead of chess players! I later assigned students tasks such as creating their own puzzles and organized games for students to compete for a trophy. By the end of the week, these eight-year-old novices made notable progress in solving advanced tactics and playing opening lines impeccably. When I asked kids about snack break, they stayed for their games a bit longer and said, “Five more minutes coach.” Through my students, I perceived that chess offers a multitude of life necessary skills such as forethought, logical reasoning, and vigilance. But the skill I have come to value most is teaching because it molds me to be a positive role model that pushes limits on creativity, patience, and dedication. For two more years, I proudly mentored these wonderful students again at Bay Area Chess. In recognition of my devotion, The United States President bestowed on me three prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Awards! This inspired me to teach both at school as the President of the Chess Club and by instituting a service, Chess With Mihir. Currently, I have been accepted into the early admission pool of applicants at the University of California, Berkeley, and I plan to attend this Fall in the Computer Science major. I plan to challenge the status quo and inspire change in my local community and around the world with profound resilience. I was also selected as a finalist in the Division of Equity and Inclusion where I plan to use my skillset in music, chess, and Computer Science to continue tutoring minority students in Berkeley, California, and around the world. At Berkeley, I also plan to participate in Peace Corps and continuously use my resources for societal good. I also plan to do the same as a teacher to foster education and care for underserved communities.
    Taylor Price Financial Literacy for the Future Scholarship
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I sat in my chair while watching this news segment, I was paralyzed. My dad was just as frozen as I was. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal in 2015. This catastrophe devastated millions, depriving them of food, shelter, and hope. Though I was on the opposite side of the world, my family in India felt the effects of such devastation, and through them, so did I. I would not leave my room that night, and I couldn’t sleep; I just sat and prayed that there wouldn’t be an aftershock. It all looked like a bad dream, but this wasn’t a fictional dystopia, it was reality. When I got up the next morning, I tried to set aside my fears, but I knew that the interim tents for housing and the scant food would not be enough. I was driven to spearhead an initiative for the babies that faced malnourishment and the women that were burying their husbands. At my next Indian Classical Music classes, I heard friends discuss the traumas from Nepal. With relief, I realized I wasn’t alone. I had the perfect group that was driven to aid these victims. I took the initiative to lead my friends from music class to help feed and shelter affected peoples through musical expression. My plan was to mix Indian and American music and fund efforts through performances. I stayed after class for an hour weekly with my peers to work on our performance. I assigned team members and created a mashup with a friend, Keshav. We committed hours every day to finish a piece that would be presented to thousands of people in our community. I was very passionate about sharing my ideas with the world, even working until 3 a.m. for my song. I reached out to my teacher, Mahesh Kale, for help identifying a venue, and he recommended a sizable theater in Sunnyvale, California. After several weeks of coordinating a marketing campaign, I realized my vision for bringing together a community and a group of artists to share their voices and give light to a global issue. Along with a standing ovation, our group received $5,000 for Nepal relief efforts. After this event, I learned something about myself: I could apply my skills and talents to address the problems of today. I decided to try using chess, computer science, and math to make a similar difference. In the years that followed, I volunteered as a Bay Area Chess coach and a math tutor at Tutree and Buddies4Math in my local community. I also brought life to recycled computers using my computer science knowledge to give disadvantaged students access to educational platforms like YouTube and Khan Academy. I used my knowledge in Ubuntu/Lubuntu OS to provide such platforms and help further bridge the digital divide in America. I even raised funds for The Global Uplift Project which contributes to providing education for over 200 students in Kirinyaga Country, Kenya with improved educational facilities and curriculums. The healing in Nepal that I took a proud part in molded me into a fearless and resilient leader who understands that though there are dark times, it is important to remain persistent in fostering hope. In college, I look forward to using my skills to keep making a positive impact in more communities and to enlighten more students on their path to success in their academic careers. On my first day at Bay Area Chess, I walked in hopeful to teach eager students and to discuss insightful strategies, tactics, and variations of openings. As soon as I started lecturing, the first question I received was, “When is snack break?” The truth was that I was the most boring chess coach. My trophies and eight years of experience did not matter. I realized I had to make chess fun. So, the very next day, I brought jokes to class. I let down my hair and used my comedic personality to captivate the students, and it was working—until they wanted to be comedians instead of chess players! I later assigned students tasks such as creating their own puzzles and organized games for students to compete for a trophy. By the end of the week, these eight-year-old novices made notable progress in solving advanced tactics and playing opening lines impeccably. When I asked kids about snack break, they stayed for their games a bit longer and said, “Five more minutes coach.” Through my students, I perceived that chess offers a multitude of life necessary skills such as forethought, logical reasoning, and vigilance. But the skill I have come to value most is teaching because it molds me to be a positive role model that pushes limits on creativity, patience, and dedication. For two more years, I proudly mentored these wonderful students again at Bay Area Chess. In recognition of my devotion, The United States President bestowed on me three prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Awards! This inspired me to teach both at school as the President of the Chess Club and by instituting a service, Chess With Mihir. Currently, I have been accepted into the early admission pool of applicants at the University of California, Berkeley, and I plan to attend this Fall in the Computer Science major. I plan to challenge the status quo and inspire change in my local community and in communities around the world with profound resilience. I was also selected as a finalist in the Division of Equity and Inclusion where I plan to use my skillset in music, chess, and Computer Science to continue tutoring local minority students in Berkeley, California, and around the world. At Berkeley, I also plan to participate in Peace Corps and continuously use my resources for societal good.
    Nikhil Desai Asian-American Experience Scholarship
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I sat in my chair while watching this news segment, I was paralyzed. My dad was just as frozen as I was. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal in 2015. This catastrophe devastated millions, depriving them of food, shelter, and hope. Though I was on the opposite side of the world, my family in India felt the effects of such devastation, and through them, so did I. I would not leave my room that night, and I couldn’t sleep; I just sat and prayed that there wouldn’t be an aftershock. It all looked like a bad dream, but this wasn’t a fictional dystopia, it was reality. When I got up the next morning, I tried to set aside my fears, but I knew that the interim tents for housing and the scant food would not be enough. I was driven to spearhead an initiative for the babies that faced malnourishment and the women that were burying their husbands. At my next Indian Classical Music classes, I heard friends discuss the traumas from Nepal. With relief, I realized I wasn’t alone. I had the perfect group that was driven to aid these victims. I took the initiative to lead my friends from music class to help feed and shelter affected peoples through musical expression. My plan was to mix Indian and American music and fund efforts through performances. I stayed after class for an hour weekly with my peers to work on our performance. I assigned team members and created a mashup with a friend, Keshav. We committed hours every day to finish a piece that would be presented to thousands of people in our community. I was very passionate about sharing my ideas with the world, even working until 3 a.m. for my song. I reached out to my teacher, Mahesh Kale, for help identifying a venue, and he recommended a sizable theater in Sunnyvale, California. After several weeks of coordinating a marketing campaign, I realized my vision for bringing together a community and a group of artists to share their voices and give light to a global issue. Along with a standing ovation, our group received $5,000 for Nepal relief efforts. This project helped me appreciate my culture and community more. It taught me that coordination, perseverance, and hope are all essential to leadership. Through the cheers from the crowd, I identified Dad holding a camera with similar tears rolling down his face but now with a gleaming smile! As an Asian American, I currently feel outraged at the incessant attacks that have taken place recently since the debut of the coronavirus disease. I know that this is NOT the country that my parents came to and sacrificed so much for. After the mass shooting and violent attacks right in my neighborhood in San Francisco and Chinatown, I, personally, feel targeted as an Asian American. I stand in solidarity with all of those who have felt similarly, and I hope to continue building on my initiative to take action and use my voice to contribute to peace. Currently, I have been accepted into the early admission pool of applicants at the University of California, Berkeley, and I plan to attend this Fall in the Computer Science and Data Science major. I plan to challenge the status quo and inspire change in my local community and in communities around the world with profound resilience. I was also selected as a finalist in the Division of Equity and Inclusion where I plan to use my skillset in music, chess, and Computer Science to continue volunteer tutoring my local community in Berkeley, California, and around the world. At Berkeley, I also plan to participate in Peace Corps and continuously use my resources for societal good. I am blessed to take advantage of these opportunities, and I plan on sharing my experiences as an Asian American and spearheading more initiatives the second I set foot on campus. I believe this scholarship will give me the time and resources to fulfill my goal of making any community home to diversity, inclusion, and equity to all, especially Asian Americans. Thank you for your benevolence, generosity, and time, Mr. Desai!
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I watched the news segment, I was paralyzed. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal. I was driven to spearhead a musical initiative for the millions who were deprived of food, shelter, and hope. After weeks of performing, I realized my vision for bringing artists to sing, share their voices, and give light to a global issue. With a standing ovation, our group received $2,500 for Nepal relief efforts.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    The woman on the screen was limping, blood seeping through a bandage that covered half her face. Surrounded by the rubble, she held her baby, who was crying incessantly. As I sat in my chair while watching this news segment, I was paralyzed. My dad was just as frozen as I was. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake took place in Nepal in 2015. This catastrophe devastated millions, depriving them of food, shelter, and hope. Though I was on the opposite side of the world, my family in India felt the effects of such devastation, and through them, so did I. I would not leave my room that night, and I couldn’t sleep; I just sat and prayed that there wouldn’t be an aftershock. It all looked like a bad dream, but this wasn’t a fictional dystopia, it was reality. When I got up the next morning, I tried to set aside my fears, but I knew that the interim tents for housing and the scant food would not be enough. I was driven to spearhead an initiative for the babies that faced malnourishment and the women that were burying their husbands. At my next Indian Classical Music classes, I heard friends discuss the traumas from Nepal. With relief, I realized I wasn’t alone. I had the perfect group that was driven to aid these victims. I took the initiative to lead my friends from music class to help feed and shelter affected peoples through musical expression. My plan was to mix Indian and American music and fund efforts through performances. I stayed after class for an hour weekly with my peers to work on our performance. I assigned team members and created a mashup with a friend, Keshav. We committed hours every day to finish a piece that would be presented to thousands of people in our community. I was very passionate about sharing my ideas with the world, even working until 3 a.m. for my song. I reached out to my teacher, Mahesh Kale, for help identifying a venue, and he recommended a sizable theater in Sunnyvale, California. After several weeks of coordinating a marketing campaign, I realized my vision for bringing together a community and a group of artists to share their voices and give light to a global issue. Along with a standing ovation, our group received $5,000 for Nepal relief efforts. After this event, I learned something about myself: I could apply my skills and talents to address the problems of today. I decided to try using chess, computer science, and math to make a similar difference. In the years that followed, I volunteered as a Bay Area Chess coach and a math tutor at Tutree and Buddies4Math in my local community. I also brought life to recycled computers using my computer science knowledge to give disadvantaged students access to educational platforms like YouTube and Khan Academy. I used my knowledge in Ubuntu/Lubuntu OS to provide such platforms and help further bridge the digital divide in America. I even raised funds for The Global Uplift Project which contributes to providing education for over 200 students in Kirinyaga Country, Kenya with improved educational facilities and curriculums. The healing in Nepal that I took a proud part in molded me into a fearless and resilient leader who understands that though there are dark times, it is important to remain persistent in fostering hope. In college, I look forward to using my skills to keep making a positive impact in more communities and to enlighten more students on their path to success in their academic careers. On my first day at Bay Area Chess, I walked in hopeful to teach eager students and to discuss insightful strategies, tactics, and variations of openings. As soon as I started lecturing, the first question I received was, “When is snack break?” The truth was that I was the most boring chess coach. My trophies and eight years of experience did not matter. I realized I had to make chess fun. So, the very next day, I brought jokes to class. I let down my hair and used my comedic personality to captivate the students, and it was working—until they wanted to be comedians instead of chess players! I later assigned students tasks such as creating their own puzzles and organized games for students to compete for a trophy. By the end of the week, these eight-year-old novices made notable progress in solving advanced tactics and playing opening lines impeccably. When I asked kids about snack break, they stayed for their games a bit longer and said, “Five more minutes coach.” Through my students, I perceived that chess offers a multitude of life necessary skills such as forethought, logical reasoning, and vigilance. But the skill I have come to value most is teaching because it molds me to be a positive role model that pushes limits on creativity, patience, and dedication. For two more years, I proudly mentored these wonderful students again at Bay Area Chess. In recognition of my devotion, The United States President bestowed on me three prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Awards! This inspired me to teach both at school as the President of the Chess Club and by instituting a service, Chess With Mihir. Currently, I have been accepted into the early admission pool of applicants at the University of California, Berkeley, and I plan to attend this Fall in the Computer Science major. I plan to challenge the status quo and inspire change in my local community and in communities around the world with profound resilience. I was also selected as a finalist in the Division of Equity and Inclusion where I plan to use my skillset in music, chess, and Computer Science to continue volunteer tutoring my local community in Berkeley, California, and around the world. At Berkeley, I also plan to participate in Peace Corps and continuously use my resources for societal good.
    One Move Ahead Chess Scholarship
    The earliest memory I have is of my parents playing tug of war. Except I was the rope. Both my arms stretched as my parents pulled tight. “Mihir, you have to stay with me,” Dad exclaimed. "Don't listen to him,” Mom declared. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I remembered the values I had learned from Indian culture: family, love, and kindness. Before I could react, a divorce court ruling would decide that I would stay with Dad and meet Mom on the weekends. As a child with a single father, I did not have the available resources my peers did. But my financial adversity was the least of my worries. Every night, I called Mom to check in on her. However, our chats were constrained to a time limit Dad placed. Our conversations molded into arguments Dad would create with Mom about raising me correctly. Profanity was passed around my house as second nature. And, if I did not comply with my parents’ demands, I would be admonished for my failure in endorsing them through their incessant arguments. Growing up, I tried to ameliorate their animosity, however, I only prolonged the inevitable fighting. Intimidated by these disputes, I sought freedom through personal interests. I kept my mind busy by exploring the world of chess and music. By practicing every day, I self-educated myself in these two passions. I made a commitment based on a drive, but I did not know whether that drive was fueled by my desire to circumvent my family or by my true willingness to learn. Over one summer, I asked Dad to put me in a chess summer camp. After enrolling, I immediately noticed fifty students crowded around the instructor, International Chess Master Emory Tate. At first, coach Tate was stringent, but after a while, I noticed how affable he was. I felt shy about playing against other students, so he took me under his wing to play with me. No matter how many moves I tried, I always lost. But every time I knocked my king over, he encouraged me to try again. I idolized him for his drive and vibrancy. Seven years later, I heard the terrible news. I was paralyzed. After playing at a chess tournament, I was informed that coach Tate passed away. All I remembered was his altruism and the laughs we shared together. That day, I had a vocation to be a chess instructor and to carry on his legacy. On my first day at chess summer camp, the first question I received was, “When is snack break, coach?” The truth was that I was the most boring chess coach ever. At that moment, I remembered how coach Tate worked excellently with kids through his unconditional love. He engaged us through perseverance daily. Similarly, I organized games for students to compete together, requiring that they do not resign their kings. After keeping our noses to the grindstone, my eight-year-old students made notable progress in playing opening variations impeccably. When I asked them about snack break, they stayed for their games and politely requested, “Five more minutes coach.” Through my students, I perceived that chess offers a multitude of life necessary skills such as forethought, logical reasoning, and vigilance. But the skill I have come to value most is teaching because it molds me be a positive role model that pushes limits on creativity, patience, and dedication. For two more years, I proudly mentored these wonderful students again at Bay Area Chess. In recognition of my devotion, The United States President bestowed on me three prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Awards! This inspired me to teach both at school as the President of the Chess Club and by instituting a service, Chess With Mihir. In retrospect, I know that my parents’ decisions have made a significant impact on my childhood. But I am blessed to have positive role models in my life that have inculcated in me the desire to be a resolute and extrovertive leader. In the last four years, I have taught chess through my service, Chess With Mihir, and as the head of the Los Altos High School chess team. The experience I had with chess also kindled my drive to help students with intellectual and development disabilities. At home, these students feel neglected similar to how I felt in my youth. But I make it a point to meet them weekly to radiate positive energy and hearten them. In honor of coach Tate, his morals of positive mentorship and inclusiveness will always remain a part of my leadership and ultimately, my identity. Having been a coach and mentor to truly brilliant students in STEM and chess, I wish to continue my path in life as an educator and hopefully a professor. While chess looks like a simple board game, it offers countless opportunities for the growth of logical and analytical skills which has brightened my interest in STEM. I plan to attend the University of California, Berkeley for the next four years, and am eager to challenge myself academically and communicate openly with professors and students alike. I have been recruited as a scholar nominee in the Division of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley to promote STEM education. There, I plan to continue using my teaching dynamic to open many eyes in underserved communities that lack the infrastructure and facilities to teach STEM fields. If I am fortunate, I want to pursue an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science at UC Berkeley to later become a professor at UC Berkeley.