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Drashti Patel

2016 Committed to Change

DRASHTI’S STORY

What makes you a Difference Maker?

There is no specific defining characteristics that makes someone a difference maker. What makes me a difference maker is that I care for my community, my fellow students and humanity as a whole. I stand up and fight for those who need someone to fight for them. I have been known to stand up for the underdogs. My commitment to bring changing in the lives of individuals I surround, helping them grow and giving them a platform to become leaders of tomorrow is what makes me a difference maker. I work my hardest every single day so that I could be the motivation someone needs, the comfort that someone needs and the drive they need to keep pushing forward. I go out of my way to help as many lives as I can. I keep a smile on my face every single day no matter what is going in my personal life; in hopes that it gives energy to those who are struggling and will motivate them to keep pushing forward. With every different organization I am part of, I work on bring change and making a difference. I believe my dedication to the individuals around me, the lives that I affect and the communities that I belong to is what makes me a difference maker.

Campus Achievements:

Some of campus achievements I have accomplished and continue to strive for is to help bridge communication between many diverse student organizations and inspire collaboration to help increase student life and activities to help enrich the livelihoods of all students. I served as President of the Indian American Student Association, Vice President for Circle K International and dedicated member of Alliance for DisAbility Awareness from 2014 - 2016. I joined the Social Justice League in 2015, and became a secretary for Alliance for DisAbility Awareness in 2016. I am an alumni of Honors Transfer Innovators and Blueprints which are both part of the Metro Scholars group. I also served as a Diversity Ambassador in 2016 and work three jobs on campus. I worked as Student Assistant at the Office for Student Engagement, Talent Ambassador for Talent Gateway and Laboratory Assistant at the Department of Natural Sciences. I have been doing research with Dr. Tiquia since May 2015 on studying the sediments’ microbial communities of St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair and also isolating lead resistant bacteria from this sediments. I have also been awarded with Emerging Leader Certificate and Leadership Synergy Certificate at the Student Leadership Award Ceremony and now with respect and honor a 2016 Difference Maker.

Leadership Experiences:

During my position as a President for Indian American Student Association I have helped IASA stand back on its feet. We have had multiple huge and successful event on and off campus with attendance for 300+ for on campus events and 900+ off campus events. Moreover, under my leadership we started a new tradition to serve free food in the library around the day of the study day to help students save time (which they have spent going off campus to buy food) and re-energize and work the hardest. IASA also brought back the Gandhi Jayanti-Day of Service that used to be celebrated at UM-Dearborn in past in hope to make it an annual day of service event. IASA has also collaborated with Henry Ford College for Gandhi Jayanti-Day of Service. IASA also started the celebration of Earth Day of service in celebration of Earth day. As a Vice President and founding member of Circle K we have worked hard to charter this Circle K organization the UM-Dearborn. We have provided with a lot of volunteering opportunities to the Circle K members and the entire UM-Dearborn community. Every year Circle K hosts a Charity Wheelchair Basketball game where we fundraise for the Detroit Diehards and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan-DMC. This year with the efforts of everyone we have been able to set a date for our charter night where we officially became a club. With Alliance for DisAbility Awareness I have helped coordinate, organize and plan many events every year including the huge benefit dinner for ConnectUS. Since I became a part of Social Justice League, I have helped and worked to get the Welcoming Resolution passed by the City Council of Dearborn which states that Dearborn will welcome everyone including refugees to come settle in the city of Dearborn. Every Saturday since December of last year I have been going to Flint the rest of the Social Justice League Warriors to pass out water, baby formula and other necessary items to flint residence. We are also fighting to have the minimum wage increased to living wage on the all three University of Michigan campuses. I have also been volunteering at the American Red Cross as a canteen and registration volunteer and at St. John’s Providence Hospital since 2013. I have also been volunteering at PB & J Outreach with Circle K where we met at 6:00 am in the morning where we make sandwiches, pack lunch and deliver it to two different locations in metro Detroit area: Mexican town and Downtown Detroit where we give the food away to homeless and less fortunate individuals and families.

What is your Dream Career?

My long term goal is to become a doctor and specializing in Pathology. I want to use my knowledge to do leading research and help find cure for diseases. I want to go to third world countries and help them medically and any other way possible. Serving the community and working to better the living conditions of human beings is the most important and valuable to me. In everything I do the long-term goal has always been to help as many people as I can and make a positive sustainable constant difference in their lives.

What was a Defining Moment for you at UM-Dearborn?

There have been multiple defining moments for me at UM-Dearborn. The first most defining moment was when I got accepted to be a member of the Honors Transfer Innovators. HTI has helped me grow so much and have given me a platform to build myself. It taught me to identify my skills and how to expand them. It helped me learn more about myself. Another defining moment was when we had our first event for IASA which was a community based event and had an audience of over 900+ individuals. At that time myself and Jonathan Gavia were single handedly working hard to build IASA. The huge success of this event and a positive feedback from all the attendees gave me the confidence and motivation to do more and confirmed that I am capable of doing anything as long as I put my 100% in it. Ever since than, I have never backed down and let my imagination flow which helped me come up with new ways to help people around me and have effective events on campus. Every time during and at the end of the event, the smile on the faces of the attendees give me the satisfaction that I have made someone’s day and that I gave them a reason to be happy. No matter what I do, all the experiences at UM-Dearborn has been a defining moment. UM-Dearborn has been great for me. It was the best decision of my life.