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Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships  Every week a different Fellow takes over our IG account to share their New American story. #immigrants #NewAmericans #immigrantkid

https://www.pdsoros.org/meet-the-class-of-2017

I've had the good fortune to travel a lot in my 24 years. In addition to visiting family in India, I studied abroad in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom. After graduation, my job took me to places from Kenya to Turkey. But my favorite travel memories are from my childhood; my mom always said it was cheaper than sending me to summer camp, and that I learned a lot more about being a citizen of the world. When I was seven we lived in a farmhouse in Italy for a month; my mom would send me and my sister (then five years old) to the grocer every morning on our own. In hindsight, the two Indian-American girls and the Italian grocer must have been an entertaining scene (I imagine we looked as cool as Aziz in Master of None). - Ellora, Class of 2017
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#PDSoros #travel #india #germany #unitedkingdom #kenya #turkey #italy #family #sisters

My years at Stanford were amazing for many reasons. I was able to explore many of my academic interests -- in fact I began as a psychology major, before switching over to engineering. I also met many of the people who remain my closest friends today (many of them are also themselves immigrants, or the children of immigrants). The fact that my parents and grandparents would never have dared to dream of attending a place like Stanford, but its doors were wide open to me -- that is truly amazing. It's something I've thought about a lot, and one of the reasons I'm dedicating my career to making sure everyone -- no matter where or into what circumstances they are born -- has opportunities. - Ellora, Class of 2017
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#PDSoros #stanford #classof2014 #psychology #engineering #computerscience #berlin #family #immigrant

A little more on my family...all of my grandparents were refugees from Karachi to India after the 1947 partition into the Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. My parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s to pursue graduate education. They first came to Madison, Wisconsin, and eventually made their way to California, where my sister and I were born. But most of my extended family still lives in India, so we were lucky enough to spend a lot of time there as kids with our grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins (swipe ⬅️ for some childhood memories). - Ellora, Class of 2017
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#PDSoros #family #parents #india #indianamerican #immigrant #travel #california

Hi all! My name is Ellora Israni, and I'm a 2017 Paul & Daisy Soros fellow. I just finished my first year at Harvard Law School, but I did my undergrad much closer to home -- Portola Valley, CA -- at Stanford. This photo is from my graduation three years ago, but the other one (swipe ⬅️) is from this weekend. My little sister graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science -- congrats, @mayaisrani !
We were both incredibly fortunate to grow up in a household that placed a premium on education. We had the privilege of parents who went to graduate school -- dad has a PhD in engineering, mom an MBA -- and who supported our aspirations. I try to remain conscious that to have such support truly is a privilege. Not everyone gets so lucky, and there's no way Maya and I would be where we are today without the opportunities that privilege granted us. - @elloraisrani, Class of 2017
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#PDSoros #harvard #stanford #classof2017 #computerscience #immigrant #immigrad #family #sisters

Recently, alongside a team of graduate students, physicians, and lawyers from across the Harvard system, I had the opportunity to visit and work inside a Syrian refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. There is one medical clinic for the camp (see picture) staffed primarily by foreign healthcare providers. Panic attacks are the most common presenting condition, and by far the greatest need is for psychological counseling among the survivors who escaped their war-torn country. As immigrants, no one is better poised to understand their search for a brighter future than us. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors, if we use our status and influence to raise our voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if we choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; then it will not only be our proud families who celebrate our existence, but thousands of people whose reality we have helped change. // handing the account over to 2017 #pdsoros Fellow Ellora Israni. - Vish #immigrants #iamanimmigrant #ihm2017 @iamanimmigrant #medicine #publichealth

Ever wonder where all our old computer monitors, keyboards/mouse with cords, all the old cellphones go to die? They can end up in gigantic e-waste stockpiles in places like rural Ghana, China, or India – where kids in villages, very much like the one I grew up in, burn the waste to extract copper, cadmium, and other metals to re-sell in local markets. This process is very toxic, and heavy metal poisoning can cause permanent neurologic deficits. During college, I worked for the United Nations Environment Programme in their Chemicals Branch, working to reduce exposure to toxic metals in developing countries. As consumers of so much high-tech, we need to demand better end-of-life options for our e-waste so that it does not hurt the very same communities that we came from. - Vish, 2016 Fellow #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrad #iamanimmigrant

After graduating from high school, I chose to attend UNC Chapel Hill on a full tuition merit scholarship. That was also the year my grandma died of abdominal cancer in India. Starting college, I realized I knew almost nothing about the disease that killed my grandma, and at college, I began to develop a research interest in cancer. My vision for combining my MD and MBA is to develop novel and affordable cancer immunotherapies for underserved communities. Indeed, my most painful memory in Uganda surrounds discussing with a husband that selling their peanut farm would not be enough for his wife’s cancer treatment. In many ways, the situation I saw in Uganda was no different than that of my grandma, a woman from a rural village in India whose abdominal cancer was not detected until it was too late. - Vish, 2016 Fellow #immigrant #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrad #iamanimmigrant #indianamerican #healthcare #medicine #publichealth #immigrants #cancer #MBA #MD

My family’s immigrant journey has inspired me to learn more about vulnerable groups both here at home and abroad. During college, I had traveled to Uganda to conduct fieldwork on access on healthcare in rural communities. There, there were so many times when I felt helpless, like when I struggled to explain well-water purification to a crowd yelling “But the tablets make water taste different!” or attended funerals of toddlers, whose parents were unable to afford malaria medication. These experiences have made me keenly aware of the advantages that I have been afforded that others have not. My personal successes are meaningless if I cannot help someone else in need. As our former President said, our values call upon us to care about the lives of people we will never meet. - Vish, 2016 Fellow #medicine #immigrantkid #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrad #iamanimmigrant #indianamerican #giveback #publichealth

My family’s search for new opportunities, freedom, and financial security led us to settle in the US when I was in elementary school. I became ‘Vish’ from Vishwajith for the first time in Mrs. Reagan’s classroom, and I would stay with her long after school ended to make sure I caught up to my classmates. At the end of that year, she nominated me for the Citizenship Award from my school district; given to a student who demonstrated commitment to his education. Mrs. Reagan taught me that being American had more to do with your character and what you know than who you know. It was my first award in America, and it would be another 14 years between my Citizenship Award and when I would naturalize as an American citizen. Pictured here are my biggest fans and family, my mom, dad, and sister. - Vish, 2016 Fellow #immigrantkid #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrad #iamanimmigrant #indianamerican #NewAmerican #medschool #immigration #medicine #family #citizen #teacher #education

Hey there! This is Vishwajith (Vish) Sridharan and I'm a 2016 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. In Sanskrit, my name is derived from two roots, vishvam meaning ‘everything that was, is, or will be’ and jeeth meaning ‘to conquer.’ No pressure.
My grandma named me; she was a single-stay-at-home-mom with a 3rd grade education, who raised five kids in the south Indian town where I was born. She wouldn't have a single award to list on her resume, no work history to speak of, and it was her virtues, her quirks, and her stories that made her uniquely loveable, and uniquely human. This week, I’ll share some of my stories. #iamanimmigrant #immigrad #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrantkid #immigrants #indianamerican #India #family #grandmother #education

I am grateful each day thinking about how different my sister's life is because of President Obama's DACA program. Knowing that the White House acknowledged her not only as a dedicated scientist, but as a person with dignity, makes all the difference to immigrant families like us. Since the beginning, you can see how caring and happy she has been just to have a brother (I don't know--I was actually a monster back then, haha), and so it is an honor for me to work to ensure my sister has the opportunities necessary to realize her full potential. #immigrantheritagemonth #PDSoros. (I also forgive the President for accidentally mis-gendering me in that letter, haha). I’m signing off for the week. Thanks for letting me take over! 2016 Fellow Vish Sdridharan is up next. – Akash Patel

Know an immigrant or child of immigrants who should apply for the 2018 #PDSoros graduate school fellowship? Tag them here! Applications are due November 1, 2017. The 30 selected Fellows will be in our New York Times ad next year. Learn more about eligibility at www.pdsoros.org #immigrantexcellence #iamanimmigrant #ihm2017 #immigrantheritagemonth #immigrants #immigrantkid #gradschool

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