December YES Student of the Month Tanmay Chopra (YES 2016-2017, India, hosted by ACES in Columbus, OH) has been a charismatic, positive, go-getter during his time as a YES scholar in the United States. At the Ohio State School for the Blind, Tanmay serves as student council president and joins in as many activities as possible. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the varsity wrestling team, debate team, and arts and crafts group. One National Honor Society conference took him to the Googleplex in San Francisco, where he jumped at the chance to interview a team of software programmers.
Tanmay is also active in community service projects. He started a campaign called “Drive with Smile” in downtown Columbus, OH, which helps motivate students from diverse backgrounds. The Drivers, or leaders of change, represent their schools and help other students see their own potential. He has volunteered at the Sight Center of Toledo and with the Mounted Police in Columbus, OH.
During International Education Week, Tanmay made presentations to all his classes at school and also to the police in Columbus. He cooked rajma, a traditional dish from India, and really enjoyed the opportunity to try to mitigate cultural misunderstandings. Regarding India, IEW provided Tanmay a platform to show others that, in his words, “even though we’ve got people belonging to different religions, casts, and creed, we stand together, defining our motto ‘Unity in Diversity.’”
Tanmay recently had the opportunity to interview one of his idols, Erin McCahan, author of Love and Other Foreign Words. For the YES student, the meeting was a dream come true.
The YES student shared that he has adopted “yes” as his mantra while on program, and he tries to help others as much as possible. He is helpful around the house and sees chores as a way to bond with his host family, the Schimmoellers. He likes sharing advice and helping his siblings with their school projects. He also loved the experience of having to wake up in the morning and shovel snow.
Congratulations on your great year, Tanmay!