Manan Shah
winners 2011 Manan Shah is a student at the University of Southern California. He hopes to have a career in the medical field. He held various leadership positions in his high school, including Senior Patrol Leader of his Boy Scouts of America troop, Vice President of the Leo Club, and pretrial attorney on the Varsity Mock Trial team. In addition, he was Valedictorian of his graduating class and an Eagle Scout. Manan overcame having a tumor in his sinuses, which made it difficult to breathe and metaphorically says, “I am learning how to truly breathe by helping others breathe. The learning process is unceasing. “Originally from Mumbai, India, Manan says that many of the positive changes that he experienced were made possible by the American Dream, which he says is “the right to pursue happiness and the ability to succeed as long as determination and diligence are practiced.” In his application, Manan remembered how he used to conform in order to fit in with his peers, and how his perspectives changed as he matured: “In fact, my many experiences upon moving to the United States have impacted me profoundly, motivating me to academically challenge myself, allowing me to rely on optimism before undergoing surgery, and even giving me the determination and leadership skills needed to execute my Eagle Project, a critical step in my journey to become an Eagle Scout. Thanks to the American Dream, I will be able to reach my full potential, to maximize my abilities and minimize my debilities. With my new mindset, I am ready for the future and the world that awaits me. The timid boy who peered in that airplane is nothing like the confident young man I am today. That boy did all he could to fit in, and today, I do all I can to stand out.