IACF Supports Talented, Hardworking & Deserving Students

2018 Scholarship Recipients with Himesh Gandhi - Mayor Pro-Tem Sugar Land and IACF Board members at the annual Scholarship Awards reception held on Monday, May 7, at the Rodgers Memorial Auditorium in Sugar Land.

2018 Scholarship Recipients with Himesh Gandhi – Mayor Pro-Tem Sugar Land and IACF Board members at the annual Scholarship Awards reception held on Monday, May 7, at the Rodgers Memorial Auditorium in Sugar Land. Photos: Roy Photography

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By Vanshika Vipin Varma

SUGAR LAND: For the past three decades, Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) has appealed to the philanthropic spirit of the Indo American community in Houston. This foundation addresses needs in the areas of education, family, general needy and healthcare. True to their spirit of their motto, “We live here We give here”, the IACF presents scholarships to talented and deserving college-bound students, each year, after a vigorous selection process.

This year’s Annual Scholarship Awards reception was held on Monday, May 7 from 6 to 8 pm, at the Rodgers Memorial Auditorium in Sugar Land. The two-hour event witnessed a large gathering of parents, teachers, administrators, and dignitaries. Over a hundred people attended this exciting event, where the IACF board dispersed $35,000 to 30 outstanding senior high school students, from Fort Bend ISD, Alief ISD and Stafford Municipal School District (MSD).  The scholarships that ranged from $1000 to $2000 were awarded on grade point average (GPA), SAT/ACT scores, personal essay, recommendation letters and need, to students that had applied.  

IACF Board members with Scholarship presenters.

IACF Board members with Scholarship presenters.

The intensive process of selection by the scholarship committee was led by committee chair Venkat Iyer and the strict norms and set standards were adhered to. Sharing his views, Venkat Iyer mentioned, “This was a total team effort from the Board. The entire team contributed effectively to evaluate the 75 applications we received this year. Team members Bela Thacker, Nanda Vura, Rajesh Dikonda, Dr. Purvi Parikh, Shweta Arora, Mousumi Banerjee, Joseph Ellankil and Mahesh Wadhwa were deeply involved through the entire process and they did an exceptional job on the lengthy and meticulous processes of selection, and in reviewing the applicants that seem to be growing in numbers each year.” Through their scholarship program the IACF supports talented, hardworking and deserving students, who aspire to become health care professionals, entrepreneurs or engineers. IACF hopes to foster the local community whose basic needs are met, supporting them to lead enriched lives.

Enthusiasm and anticipation was filled in the air at this venue and after a brief networking session accompanied with scrumptious appetizers the event started. The Emcees for the evening were IACF Board members Bela Thacker and Dr. Purvi Parikh. The IACF President, Mahesh Wadhwa warmly welcomed everyone and recognized all committee members, along with the IACF past and present board members. He thanked them and everyone else for their hard work and continuous support. Sharing his background about IACF, he mentioned, “ For the past 30 years IACF has been tapping into the philanthropic spirit of the community to raise funds so we can serve the community. The scholarship program started 5 years ago for Fort Bend ISD and Alief ISD and since last year for the Stafford Municipal school district (SMSD). In the future we are looking forward to expand to more such institutions”. He also informed about the upcoming IACF 2018 gala on Saturday, October 6.

Mahesh Wadhwa, IACF President.

Mahesh Wadhwa,
IACF President.

His speech was soon followed by the ceremony, where prominent Houstonians that included the IACF Past Presidents, heads of IACF’s partnering organizations, supporters and donors, presented scholarship certifications to each student. Among the scholarships is the prestigious David Raj Scholarship that IACF presents each year to a student pursuing a career in medicine and this was announced and presented by Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala. The evening was lit up with excitement and emotions. Several selfie moments followed up for the scholarship winners, and their mixed emotions were complimented with inspirational messages from the dignitaries. The energized evening was truly a remarkable eve of upliftment and encouragement.

For more information visit their website www.iacfhouston.com

Emcees, IACF Board members Bela Thacker (right) and Dr. Purvi Parikh.

Emcees, IACF Board members Bela Thacker (right) and Dr. Purvi Parikh.

2018 IACF Scholarship Recipients
Betsabe Mendez, Evelyn Gomez-Rivera, Hasham Dhakwala, Sionna Brenn, Daniel Broussard, Bilal Rehman, Sainia Daniels, Tejas Medapalli, Jessica Shyi, Charity Kyei, Nicole Wang.
Murad Shauzab.
Susan Momoh, Karla Alas, Christine Ejiofor, Decorey Davis, Yian Xilin,Vincent Than, Duy Vo, Samntha Alexis Martinez, Lesley Coreas, Nicole Okon, Ikayani Soemampauw, Ufomadu Chukwuebuka, Kevin Duong, Gia-Luat Vo, Isaac Aurora, PraiseGod Atori, Kevin Casas, La-Meria Seriale.

2018 Presenters & Dignitaries
Himesh Gandhi – Mayor Pro-Tem Sugar Land; Xavier Herrera – Board Secretary Stafford Municipal District; Ken Mathew – Mayor Pro-Tem Stafford; Neeta Sane – Trustee HCC District VII; Hasu Patel, Tariq Mohammad – Hanmi Bank President; Sheela Rao – Daya President; Sidney Evans- Senior Advisor NRG Energy; Dr. Jay Raman; Rajiv Bhavsar – Wallis State Bank; Vijay Jha – President of Quadret Consultants and Geotech engineering co; Prasun Jalal – President IDA; KC Mehta – President IDCC; Amrik Nijjar – Principal Engineer ( retd. ) FMC; Dr. Nik Nikam – Owner of NNN; Mani Subramaniam -Past president IACF; Juuhi Ahuja -CEO of Wiseman consulting; Dr. Swati Naik- Physician at Texas Children Center; Suri Pulemla- President of Rohit Systems inc; Ajit Paralker- Secretory iEducate, Jeremy Gilbert -Alif Kerr School Counselor; Vipin Kumar Executive Director India House; Prem Cholia- IACF BOD; Venkat Iyer- IACF BOD; Shobana Muratee President-Elect IACF; Ngan Nguyen from the office of Councilman Steven Le  – City of Houston; Nanda Vura – IACF BOD; Joseph Ellankil- IACF BOD; Shweta Arora- IACF BOD; K R Satish- Professor Rice University; Rajesh Dikonda- IACF BOD; Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala – Eagle Strategies, Past President IACF, Dr. Terry Sheneman (Director FBISD, Career and College Readiness Program), Dr. Crystal Collins (Alief ISD, Coordinator of Counseling)