Arjun Patel_web
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H-F senior wins $40,000 College Board scholarship

Homewood-Flossmoor High School senior Arjun Patel thought he was invited to participate in a segment on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” about high school students and their college choices.

Arjun Patel

Instead, Patel was part of a surprise national announcement on March 31 that he was the winner of a $40,000 college scholarship.

“Honestly, I had no clue,” Patel told the Chronicle. “I didn’t know how to react.” His parents, Hamon and Rinku Patel of Flossmoor were watching and were very excited for their son.

The College Board had selected him as one of 25 seniors from across the country to receive its Complete Your Journey Scholarship. In all, the College Board gave away $3.6 million in scholarships in various amounts to students in the Class of 2021.


In offering his congratulations to Arjun, District 233 Superintendent Von Mansfield said Arjun “is a great representation of the students who attend Homewood-Flossmoor High School and our outstanding staff who prepare each of our students toward their next steps in attaining their college and career aspirations.”

Arjun, 18, said he hasn’t made a final decision on his college choice, but he’s leaning toward North Carolina State because it has an excellent program in his selected field of computer engineering. 

“It’s a very broad field that’s expanding, too,” he said. Digital is now an emphasis, as is artificial intelligence which is interesting to him. He’s had a chance to dapple in AI.

Arjun’s father works in the information technology field, so Arjun said that since a young age “I’ve always been surrounded by computers and was naturally interested in it.” 

He took a host of computer science and engineering classes at H-F “to get more experience for college,” and he credits math teacher Melissa Makovsky and applied academics teacher Nathan Beebe with helping him take on new challenges.

Arjun was entered into the scholarship drawing by following six steps recommended by the College Board, including keeping track of deadlines and applying for aid. At H-F, Arjun worked closely with Kevin Coy, one of H-F’s two college counselors.

At H-F, Arjun has been in Advanced Placement classes and a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, the fraternity for outstanding math students. He was a member of the Lacrosse team.

“This scholarship is for every student, no matter their background or what school they attend. It’s about giving all students a chance to raise their hands and be seen,” said College Board CEO David Coleman upon making the announcement.

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