Through the fundraising efforts of a group of Center Grove High School students, hundreds of residents of the Dominican Republic have reading glasses.
Without the leadership of Kaveet Pandya, that effort wouldn’t have been possible. The Center Grove senior founded a school branch of Timmy Global Health, helping to raise money to send medical teams to impoverished areas of the world.
Pandya called it the most memorable achievement of his high school career.
“I wanted to implement something on a global scale at our school, maybe it would have some support. And it did,” he said.
Pandya is the valedictorian of this year’s graduating class at Center Grove. He’s balanced the academic rigors of the school’s most challenging classes with extracurriculars such as the the quiz bowl and “Brain Game” team. Topping it all off has been his community service.
His goal has always been to make the most of his abilities. That commitment helped propel him to the top of his class.
“I definitely wanted to do well, give it my all and give it my best,” he said. “Work ethic, that’s something I’ve learned from my family.”
Pandya founded the Center Grove chapter of Timmy Global Health after witnessing the positive impact the organization has. His brother, Janit Pandya, helped start a chapter at Indiana University.
Hearing about the group’s work in Guatemala was inspiring, Pandya said.
“The experiences he had were pretty incredible, and I wanted to see if we could do that here,” he said.
Pandya also worked to improve the community locally. This year, he worked with Spanish IV classmates to put together a trip to Indianapolis to work with a school in need.
The students helped clean up the grounds around the school and moved some landscaping features that hadn’t been cared for in recent years.
“That was something that was really special. We were really close since we’d all been together in class for four years,” he said. “The students united and suggested it; that’s what made it so different.”
Pandya has prided himself on taking challenging courses and trying to take full advantage of the offerings at Center Grove.
He needed a few weeks to adjust to the difference between middle school and high school as a freshman. He realized that success would require more than just his intellect.
“That was the most difficult thing to get into. But once you get used to the work, it’s not too bad,” he said.
One of his favorite classes focused on the human body, through the biomedical curriculum offered through Project Lead the Way, and helped lay the foundation for his plans.
“I’ve always been interested in the human body and medicine in general, this kind of opened up another door toward that path,” Pandya said.
Helping others will likely be the aim of Pandya’s future career. He’d like to go into cognitive science at Indiana University, melding psychology and neuroscience into an all-encompassing study of the mind. He plans to eventually attend medical school.
“I’ve known for a long time that all I wanted to do was go into medicine. I like psychology and I like neuroscience, and cognitive science integrates the two,” he said.
Name: Kaveet Pandya
Parents: Pruthvish and Brinda Pandya
College plans: Studying cognitive science and pre-med at Indiana University
Career goals: Would like to attend medical school