The Milken Institute and Milken Family Foundation initiative have announced its 2020 group of Milken Scholars, with three Indian American and South Asian Americans named among the 19 honorees.
The Scholars were chosen after a rigorous nomination, application and interview process. Open to college-bound high school seniors in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City, Milken Scholars are selected based on academic performance, community service, leadership and their ability to persevere in the face of personal challenges.
Among the group was Ramsay Goyal, Rohin Manvi and Ayan Rahman.
“For more than three decades, the Milken Scholars have inspired us with their achievements, leadership and dedication to community service,” said Milken Institute chairman Mike Milken, who created the program with his wife Lori in 1989.
“We’re proud to welcome these three outstanding young people to the Milken Scholar family,” Milken added. “At this difficult time for our nation, we know that they—like all the Scholars over the years—will continue working to change the world for the better.”
Every day, as Goyal biked to and from Loyola High School of Los Angeles, he got to know his neighborhood. Homeless encampments, empty buildings and vacant lots shone with possibilities, gave him a deeper appreciation for his community and catalyzed his desire to take an active role in shaping it, his bio notes.
In 2018 Ramsay ran for the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council, going door to door to convince neighbors that a high school student was up to the task—and he won. Ramsay has pushed to allocate council funds to a neighborhood community center that provides housing to previously homeless families, voted to approve construction of a 40-unit affordable housing complex for victims of domestic abuse, and advocated for a new bike lane on Venice Boulevard, it said.
As vice president of the Youth Advisory Council for U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez, Ramsay prepared council reports to inform the Congressman’s policy positions, the bio added.
Ramsay is an AP Scholar with honor. He won the Swarthmore Book Award, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America Congressional Essay Contest, a bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award, and a silver medal on Le Grand Concours National French exam. Ramsay was a delegate to California Boys State and a regional Science Olympiad finalist.
The co-captain of Loyola’s Congressional Debate team, Ramsay earned multiple honors from the National Speech and Debate Association and reached the California Congressional Debate finals. He served as news and features editor for the school newspaper and president of Loyola Leadership Lab, where students practice leadership skills and learn from guest speakers.
Ramsay prepared eighth graders for Loyola’s high school placement test and helped first graders with homework as a tutor at Urban Compass, an after-school program at St. Thomas the Apostle School, the bio said.
Fascinated by public transportation, Ramsay founded the Geocaching Club, leading members on high-tech scavenger hunts as they follow clues and navigational directions to find hidden containers.
He once rode every metro rail line in Los Angeles in a single day as he researched a paper on why the city needs more light rail. As a camp counselor for the Regis House Community Center, Ramsay used L.A.’s buses and trains to lead 10 six-year-olds on urban adventures to museums, playgrounds, nature trails and libraries; in addition, he planned public transportation routes for all the program’s other age groups. After planning many trips for friends and family, Ramsay founded RAD Travel Agency to help others plan domestic and international trips.
Ramsay will explore urban studies at Yale and looks forward to a career in urban planning.
Thanks to Crescenta Valley High School graduate Manvi, more than 100,000 villagers in rural India now know when water will flow to their area. Manvi designed a water sensor specifically for remote locations, where water is delivered intermittently and residents lack internet access, reliable electricity and smartphones, his bio notes.
He designed and directed manufacturing of the sensors, build a custom 2G server to power them, hired and trained local employees, and waded through Indian politics to install the sensors in 100 villages near his parents’ hometown.
Manvi’s original WaterNotifier app won the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 28th district. The devices already are saving 40 million liters of water per year, but Manvi knew they could be better. At COSMOS (California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science) at the University of California, Davis, he and another student created a strap-on water meter for less than $5 using an accelerometer and machine learning algorithms.
The device is more than 95 percent accurate in controlled environments and earned the pair first place in the COSMOS Internet of Things final project. After the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, Manvi will implement the new device in India to improve his water sensors’ performance.
Manvi is an AP Scholar with distinction. He won the General Motors STEM for Changemaking Challenge and then, together with the other winners, created a social change video sharing platform for the Ashoka Changemakers Movement, whose projects spread awareness of collaborative activism.
He has placed in the top three of the American Math Competitions and led his FIRST Robotics Competition team to regional Engineering Inspiration and Chairman’s Awards.
Manvi co-captains CVHS’s Science Bowl team, competes in the High School Mathematics Contest at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, mentors incoming freshmen as a Link Crew leader, and mentors students for the FIRST LEGO League in two La Crescenta elementary schools. His participation in the Glendale Tech Week Student Innovation earned him recognition from the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Glendale Mayor. Manvi was the only high school student selected to judge Glendale’s Tech Week Awards, a celebration of the city’s local tech industry.
Dedicated to sharing his experience with others, Manvi serves as a project advisor for CV Enterprises, a software company for CVHS students overseen by the computer science teacher, the bio continued.
He has teamed up with four other Stanford students to create a new social media platform that will reduce the negative mental health effects of existing networks like Facebook and Instagram.
Manvi teaches practical electrical engineering to students at two schools in rural India, leading classes remotely and providing extra help via video calls.
He will study computer science and engineering at Stanford and plans a career as an entrepreneur.
Rahman a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, is an AP Scholar with distinction, a QuestBridge College Match finalist, and Counsel of International Educational Exchange Global Navigator.
He served as president and vice-president of the largest Key Club in the world with over 500 members that won 1st Place for Single Service Project in the Platinum Division of New York District Key Clubs and was recognized as a Distinguished Key Clubber and Outstanding Club President.
He was also the president of Tech Treks and 1st Flautist of his high school concert band. Rahman will attend Grinnell College.
Mike and Lori Milken founded the Milken Scholars Program to promote and assist young people as they navigate the transitions from high school to college and from college to graduate school or the world of work. Recipients receive a $10,000 scholarship, but more importantly they gain a lifelong support system that includes ongoing career-related counseling, assistance in securing internships, opportunities for community service, and a fund to assist their pursuit of post-undergraduate career goals.