Summer Class of 2017

My name is Amrita Rehal and I am going to be a Senior at Neuqua Valley High School. This is my second year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer I learned how rewarding it is to work with a team. I also learned how to think critically about every problem and how crucial this is to success in any field. SCARF has been an amazing mentorship program where I have gained so much and have developed a newfound love for helping the community. It has helped mold my interest and commitment to becoming an informed and outstanding citizen, ambassador, and professional. This fall, I will be applying to colleges and finishing high school, involved in academics, music, and athletics. I keep coming back to S.C.A.R.F. because it is immensely rewarding every year. I am given new opportunities to continue expanding my knowledge by viewing surgeries and learning from knowledgeable doctors such as Dr. Nguyen. Not to mention that I am able to learn the value of critically thinking about sophisticated ideas, and then am given the opportunity to impart my knowledge on the community.


My name is Anisha Patel and I am a sophomore at St. Louis University. This is my first year at S.C.A.R.F. Dr. Nguyen's teachings through the SCARF program go far beyond recognizing different arrhythmias, decoding ECGs, and visualizing the electrical signals of the heart. I grew more as a student and as a person from being able to witness firsthand patient care and passion he practices with. I learned the importance of forming and maintaining meaningful connections with people and specifically the vitality of a strong doctor-patient relationship, something Dr. Nguyen upholds with each unique person that walks into his office. Roosevelt once said, “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”, and it is evident to every intern, coworker, and patient that Dr. Nguyen absolutely cares. S.C.A.R.F. above all else has given me an outlet to practice philanthropy and the tools I need to implement a lasting and powerful impact. This fall I will be tackling the new challenge of sophomore year and organic chemistry while trying to balance my volunteering and extracurriculars with study.


My name is Ethan Brander and I am going to be a senior this coming year at Rockford Christian High School. This is my first year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer I learned what it truly means to be successful and I gained a new perspective on Cardiology. SCARF has greatly prepared me for my life in both school and the professional world. This fall I plan on continuing my education and hopefully get a chance to return to SCARF sometime during the school year.


My name is Harish Kesavan and I am 17 years old. This fall I will be a senior at Metea Valley High School. This is my 3rd year in S.C.A.R.F, and these 3 years in S.C.A.R.F have taught me a lot about the medical field but most importantly provided me with life guidance. Dr. Nguyen has provided me the necessary tools and knowledge for me to be successful in the future and achieve all my goals. As a result, I will be pursuing a career in medicine and will applying to colleges this fall. I keep coming back to S.C.A.R.F because of the exposure and experience you get through Dr. Nguyen’s lectures and knowledge. The mentorship is very unique and allows me to learn about patient and doctor relationships at such an early age and I hope to continue this program next year and further my knowledge.


My name is Ishani Patel and I will be a senior at St. Charles North High School. This was my first year in the S.C.A.R.F. program, and I must say that this experience is one that I would never want to lose. S.C.A.R.F. has brought me closer to my vision in life. I have always wanted to impact the study of the heart by inventing something, discovering an entity that has the power to positively impact my community. Under both the Drs. Nguyen’s care and support, I have learned that to make this dream a reality, I will have to live by the three most important pillars in life: critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. This one summer has taught me things that would have taken an average student years to learn, and this fall I hope to implement all of the training and professionalism that I have learned during my time in this program throughout my life.


My name is Jacob Devadas and I am going to be a freshman at Barrington High School. This is my first year at S.C.A.R.F. I have learned so much this summer about professionalism, medicine and sudden cardiac death because S.C.A.R.F. has allowed me to participate in hands-on experiences and observe what a typical day looks like for a doctor. This fall I plan on continuing my athletics while still participating in academic competitions.


I am Janki Dave, an incoming freshman at UIC. This is my second year attending the S.C.A.R.F. program directed by Drs. Paul and Rubina Nguyen. I continue to return to the S.C.A.R.F. Program because it is different than any other internship and has created a strong professional foundation for my future career. We experience unique opportunities like surgery rotations and patient rounding at hospitals on a weekly basis, providing us with incredible exposure to the medical field. This summer, I learned professionalism in a medical environment, and the importance of teamwork. This fall, I would like to apply the anatomical knowledge I gained into my science classes at college, and starting to network within the healthcare community.


My name is Jordyn Nimmer and I will be a freshman at Southern Illinois University. This is my first year at S.C.A.R.F. Dr. Nguyen has also imparted a vast amount of wisdom and academic knowledge on each student. Something unique to S.C.A.R.F. is Dr. Nguyen's love for education; he never watered down a specific topic to lower himself to our level. Rather, he lifted us to his level. In the realm of mentors in medicine, Dr. Nguyen is the farthest from condescending: for that, I will always be grateful. S.C.A.R.F. has revolutionized my personal sense of self and has allowed me to grow in unimaginable ways. S.C.A.R.F. has inspired me to be industrious, innovative, and instructive. I want to share the knowledge that I am privileged to have acquired. During the coming fall, I will be pursuing a double major in Biology and Spanish. In the future, I intend on utilizing linguistics to help infuse multiculturalism into American medicine. This fall, I will also be researching neuronal inflammation in connection with high-fat diet-induced neuropathy in mice with Dr. Brianne Guilford at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


My name is Meg Mehta. This is my second year participating in S.C.A.R.F. This fall I will be a senior at Barrington High School. Through S.C.A.R.F. I have gained a deep insight into the medical field. The past two years I’ve been given the opportunity to be present during patient consultations, pharmacy rotations, surgeries and as I progress through the program we are exposed to experiences that few outside of medical school would be privy to. Through SC.A.R.F. and Dr. Nguyen’s mentorship, I have learned not only the business side of a busy medical practice but my social responsibility to my community, the importance of teamwork and the solid work ethic required to be successful in any area you choose.  I keep coming back to S.C.A.R.F. because I strive to make a difference in the world, and I believe S.C.A.R.F. has given me a tremendous amount of opportunities and the building blocks I need to achieve my goals.


Hello! I’m Millen Srivastava, an incoming sophomore at UCLA from Barrington, Illinois. This is my third year returning to the S.C.A.R.F. mentoring program. S.C.A.R.F. is a program like no other; it has shown me the benefits of helping and educating my community and the power and effect of philanthropy. As a senior intern of the program this summer, S.C.A.R.F. has given me new experiences through the rotations and surgeries we were able to witness, and it has allowed me to practice my leadership skills by guiding our new students. This fall, I will be exploring other passions of mine besides medicine, such as politics and law, and I will be using the skills and experience S.C.A.R.F. has provided me in leadership, philanthropy, professionalism, and community outreach to help create a future career for myself.


My name is Navjot Rehal and I am going to be a junior at Neuqua Valley High School. This summer I have learned many invaluable lessons. In addition to gaining extensive knowledge on the heart, I have also learned about professionalism and dedication. S.C.A.R.F. has allowed me to learn about the medical field and acquire a new appreciation for doctors. This fall I will be participating in marching band and ultimate frisbee at my high school, and I will continue pursuing my passion for the medical field.


My name is Neal George and I will be an incoming junior at Barrington High School this fall. This is my first year at the S.C.A.R.F. internship. I have really enjoyed this program. I have found my time at S.C.A.R.F. internship to be fun, interactive, and educational. S.C.A.R.F. allowed me and the other interns to observe other patients and learn about their heart problems. It was a wonderful and interactive learning experience for me. For example, I had the opportunity to visit Kindred hospital in Sycamore, where I was taken to patients’ rooms by a nurse practitioner who explained their health conditions to me. It was very nice to get a hands-on learning experience about illnesses and recovery and get exposed to these things at an early age. I look forward to a career in the field of science and perhaps in the field of medicine. The S.C.A.R.F. internship positions me well for success in these fields. The best part about S.C.A.R.F. is that Dr. Nguyen instills a sense of helping others and giving back to the community. The enriched learning and character building experience is what sets the S.C.A.R.F. internship apart from any other internship.


My name is Neal Shah, I will be a freshman at UMKC in their 6-year BA/MD program, and this is my 2nd year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer I have strengthened my foundation I built last year in the program as the information Dr. Nguyen teaches comes a lot easier now that I understand the basics of the heart’s electrical system, anatomy, and some diseases. Recently, I have focused in on expanding my Swim for Life initiative and have been working on creating a S.C.A.R.F. app that works in conjunction with Dr. Nguyen’s Virtual Link technology. But beyond medicine, S.C.A.R.F. has made me realize that I must focus on my intangibles and always give back to my community. This fall I will also be continuing to build upon the projects I have started to increase public awareness. S.C.A.R.F. is not just a summer program for me, it is something I want to and will be a part of for the rest of life.


My name is Neehar Shah, and I am going to be a junior at St. Charles East High School. This was my first year a part of the S.C.A.R.F. program. Over the summer, I have learned about the medical field by following Dr. Nguyen during his patient rounds. I have also learned about the electrical system of the heart, as well as learning how to apply myself in any situation. S.C.A.R.F. has given me a foundation to build upon for the rest of my life through the core values of critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. This upcoming school year, I will be a part of the Executive Board of Student Council and play club and high school volleyball as an outside hitter.


My name is Nikhil Patel and I am a senior at Glenbard North High School. This is my first year in S.C.A.R.F. This year in S.C.A.R.F. I have learned that teamwork is everything. Going into this program there was so much information that I had never had before, but thanks to my fellow interns who are always willing to help you understand I now know more than I could've ever hoped for. I have learned that S.C.A.R.F. is more than just a place to learn medical information, but to also form life skills and lasting relationships, after all, S.C.A.R.F is for life. S.C.A.R.F. has shown me how to be the best person I can be in and out of the school. It has significantly impacted and developed my ability as a public speaker and help mold me into a leader. S.C.A.R.F. has ultimately presented me the tools for life and shown me how to use them, all I needed to do was begin. This coming fall I will begin my final year in high school. I hope to keep up with extracurricular such as sports, dancing, and volunteering.


I am Nisha Ramesh and I'm an incoming senior at Neuqua Valley High School. Through my first year at S.C.A.R.F., I have learned about the causes and prevention of sudden cardiac death. I was able to become familiar with the anatomy and physiology of the heart and understand how numerous cardiovascular diseases relate to one another. Beyond the medical aspect, S.C.A.R.F. has taught me the importance of professionalism, critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. S.C.A.R.F. has not only given me an opportunity to learn about medicine, but a chance to give back to the community. Through my summer in S.C.A.R.F., I was able to reach out to my community to educate women about sudden cardiac death. This program has helped me save my own life and those around me.


My name is Pranav Yandamuri. I will be a junior at Huntley High School. This is my second year in S.C.A.R.F. I will be a junior at Huntley High School. This is my second year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer, I have expanded upon my knowledge of the heart, as well as how to diagnose and treat problems pertaining to the heart. Finally, at the Presence Mercy Medical Center I witnessed Dr. Kakodkar implant a biventricular ICD, give cardioversion, and ablate the pulmonary veins using cryotherapy. S.C.A.R.F. has allowed me to discover what I truly want to do with my future and my career, as well as teach me important, lifelong values. I had no idea what profession I wanted to enter in the future, but SCARF expanded my knowledge of medicine tenfold and motivated me to pursue an occupation in this field. Dr. Nguyen has taught me invaluable lessons to educate myself, give back to the community, cooperate with others, and think critically. Most of all, I have been able to witness professionalism and how to connect with patients. I have always wanted to enter a field with human interaction. This fall I will be a junior at Huntley High School. I plan to continue my research in medicine by joining HOSA, a medical thai allows students to research and present a wide range of medical related topics. I will participate in the speech team, science olympias, math team, and tennis. I keep returning to S.C.A.R.F. to further my knowledge of medicine and learn more about the interaction that a doctor has with his or her patient.


My name is Priya Prasad and I will be a junior at Illinois Wesleyan University. This is my first year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer I have started to attain skills such as reading an ECG and how to interpret them in order to make a diagnosis. I have learned an immense amount about the heart’s electrical system and on topics such as sudden cardiac arrest, myocardial infarctions and sleep apnea. The various guest speakers have increased my knowledge on devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and AEDs. Dr. Nguyen not only taught me about medicine and patient doctor relationships, but also about the business aspect of it all. S.C.A.R.F. has opened a world of opportunities for me that I would not have gotten anywhere else. The experiences of seeing patients with Dr. Nguyen and learning about various topics in medicine from him have been priceless. Dr. Nguyen has given me career and life guidance that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. This program truly showed me how important it is to spread awareness and work as a team to accomplish this. S.C.A.R.F. is a community I am privileged to be a part of and I cannot wait to come back next year. My plans this fall are to return to Wesleyan and continue to pursue my major in biology and minor in psychology.


My name is Ranzy A. Collins and I am a sophomore at Augustana College studying Bio Chemistry. This is my third year in S.C.A.R.F. The most important thing that I have learned from S.C.A.R.F. is that to truly understand a topic you must follow three phases. Those phases are you must see one, you must do one, and finally you must teach one. In any case these phases ensure the fact that you learn the topic while also informing your community of the information as well. S.C.A.R.F. has opened opportunities that I would never have been able to achieve on my own, the experiences that we gain here most medical students don't even have the chance to go through. These experiences allow for us to use critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. This fall I will be heading back to college to continue my education and begin preparation for the MCAT.I return to S.C.A.R.F. every year because the atmosphere continues to enrich my knowledge while opening doors to the various aspects of health care that I could not see on my own. S.C.A.R.F. will lead me through life as my team and family to support and motivate me through all aspects of life.


I am a second-year student at Augustana College. This is my first year at S.C.A.R.F. This summer I have learned about sudden cardiac death and all of the other issues surrounding it which has led to learning about how to raise awareness through my project of preventative cardiovascular care. I’ve also learned what it means to be professional in how I carry and present myself. S.C.A.R.F. has challenged me and mentored me into become better at critical thinking and given me the foundation on which I can become at it. S.C.A.R.F has also taught me what it means and how to work in a team to accomplish a goal or solve a problem. This fall I will be going back to Augustana to continue my education.


My name is Rutva Bhatt and I am a rising Junior at Huntley High School and this was my first year in S.C.A.R.F. Through this program, I learned that sudden cardiac arrest is dangerous yet unfamiliar to the public. Many people incorrectly believe that a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest are the same thing. Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical event that causes 450,000 deaths per year, and bystanders are a key to survival. However, this enlightening program has taught me not only about the intricacies of the heart's functions, but also the value of education. Aid is only a temporary beginning, but education lasts a lifetime and allows people to progress independently. There is no limit to education. S.C.A.R.F. has taught me to fortify my strengths and recognize my weaknesses. It has also taught me to access my confidence in tense situations. This coming fall, I hope to use what I learned this summer to impact my community. I will continue focusing on my education while aiming to make a difference through instructing Taekwondo and leading community service projects in NHS (National Honors Society).


I am Samvrit Punyapu, and soon to be freshman at Metea valley high school in Aurora Illinois. This is my first year attending the S.C.A.R.F. program founded by Dr. Paul Nguyen and Dr. Rubina Nguyen. This year, in S.C.A.R.F., I have learned much about the heart, surprisingly, a lot more than I assumed I would learn. I have also learned about many other life impacting topics such as; professionalism, insurance, money and banking management etc. S.C.A.R.F. has given me a way to help my father who has recently had a heart attack and is in rehab. It helps me take care of him when he is at home and I have the chance to. This fall I look forward to using my knowledge to improve the living standards to all those in my community. I also look forward to helping my father recover from his past incidents, I have high hopes that his health will improve. I am also excited to get into S.C.A.R.F. next year as a returning student. This will help me achieve my goal to give back to society through the world of medicine.


My name is Shayaan Shahid Naseer. I am going to be a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall and this is my first year with S.C.A.R.F. This summer I have learned a lot about not only the heart, its electrical systems, and viewing the heart holistically in the context of the entire human body, but also about the core values taught by S.C.A.R.F. These values are professionalism, critical thinking, teamwork, and higher education. S.C.A.R.F. has helped instill these values in me and I will carry them with me as I return to University of Illinois in the fall and for the rest of my life.


My name is Shil Shah. This coming fall I will be a Freshmen (1st Year) at the University of Missouri- Kansas City as part of their 6-year direct B.A./M.D. program. As a 3rd year intern at S.C.A.R.F., I have continuously been learning, whether it be about the anatomy and physiology of the heart or even practical life skills like professionalism and public speaking. S.C.A.R.F. has instilled within me the three fundamental pillars of success: critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork; with these three things, I will be able to achieve all my aspirations. This fall I will begin my journey towards becoming an MD, and although my education will be the priority of my focus, I will continue to spread awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest throughout the different communities I am involved in primarily through means of technology. As a lifelong program, I plan on returning to S.C.A.R.F. each year to further develop my project: a S.C.A.R.F. app accessible to all smartphone users, with the purpose of educating the community on SCD, AEDs, and STAY CALM.


My name is Sibghatallah Imdad and I am going to be a junior at the University of Illinois—Urbana Champaign. I am a first-year student in the S.C.A.R.F. program. This fall I will be going to back to university with a continued focus on pursuing medicine. I’ve learned a vast amount of information about the heart this summer. I was taught everything from anatomy & physiology and electrical pathways to pathologies and reading EKG’s. Additionally, I’ve acquired a great understanding of the inner workings of a medical environment, just from being there all the time (clinics, hospitals, nursing homes). I would say the most profound thing I’ve gotten from S.C.A.R.F. this year is identification of my weaknesses. Dr. Nguyen has sat down and had many talks with our whole group about various topics of what it takes to be successful. His words have made me reflect upon my own thoughts and behaviors, and what things I can change to optimize my own efforts.


My name is Simran Lubana. I am a second-year student at the University of Maryland. This is my first year attending the S.C.A.R.F. program. I decided to join in order to gain experience and exposure to the medical field. Dr. Paul Nguyen and Dr. Rubina Nguyen have honed in on my weaknesses and instead, by identifying them, made them my strengths. I feel more prepared and confident after this program to enter certain academic, social, and employment situations.


My name is Sophia Nguyen and in fall I will be entering 7th grade. I have been a part of S.C.A.R.F for my entire life supporting it. This is my 1st year as a student. This summer, I had the rare and wonderful gift of being able to attend S.C.A.R.F. I learned how to communicate with others, how to think of the mind, body, and environment, and professionalism. I learned to acknowledge critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. I am truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful program, and I received so much out of just the summer and hope to continue and pursue as a student and supporter of S.C.A.R.F.  SCARF has impacted me ever since I was born. The program itself is imbedded in my actions and my thinking. S.C.A.R.F. taught me the importance of giving back to community and to present myself as a confident person.  S.C.A.R.F. is in me, and I will never forget what it taught me. This fall I will be starting 7th grade at the Barrington Middle School, Prairie campus. I play piano and violin. I am also preparing for my Tae Kwan Do Black Belt test. I will continue to study as hard as I can to keep up with the students and possibly learn outside of school more in the medical field. 


My name is Steven Saletta and I am a senior at University of Illinois. This is my second year at S.C.A.R.F. Dr. Nguyen has changed my entire way about thinking of problems into a method that leaves no stone unturned and every conclusion well supported. With the help of Dr. Nguyen and S.C.A.R.F; I scored in the top 1% of the critical reasoning and analysis section of the MCAT.  This coming year I will be finishing my undergraduate education at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as a Molecular and Cellular Biology major with a Chemistry minor. I will start my time as the president of the Foundation of International Medical Relief chapter at UIUC as well as accepting a position as a teacher’s assistant in the Chemistry Department. In addition, I will be continuing my research under Dr. Nien-Pei Tsai in the neuro-excitability pathway involving P53 and MDM2 proteins. All the while, applying and interviewing for medical schools.  I think one of the major reason coming back to S.C.A.R.F. is to expand on my knowledge base and for the unique opportunities such as observing live surgeries.


My name is Tarun Yandamuri. I am a college graduate, applying for Medical Schools. This is my third year in S.C.A.R.F. This summer, I was able to explore the many different facets of medicine – ranging from pharmacology to surgery to clinical patient interaction – and learned that the mind, body, and environment are all paramount for health. S.C.A.R.F. has given me the confidence and focus that I need to better understand the world around me from a more profound perspective. This fall, I will be working on a community service project through S.C.A.R.F.  Every year I return to S.C.A.R.F. because I have firsthand seen how promoting wellness can transform an entire community, and S.C.A.R.F.  provides the resources to make that impact


My name is Vanessa Lopez and I recently graduated from Augustana College and will be an upcoming freshman at University of Iowa School of Medicine Graduate Program. This is my third year with S.C.A.R.F. and fifth year with Dr. Nguyen where I have learned the intangibles of critical thinking, teamwork and higher education that play a critical role in my goal to continue impacting my Hispanic community along with communities that do not receive the quality of care they deserve. S.C.A.R.F. has not only given me opportunities that I could have only imagined in order to continue my commitment in service, but also allowed me to become a better person and a better physician through the selflessness, leadership, and collaborative skills that I learned and received through my team and my mentors Dr. Paul and Rubina Nguyen. Therefore, I simply continue to come back to S.C.A.R.F. because this program, my initiatives through this program, my goal to become a physician, and my commitment are lifelong. This program is a necessity in regards to my pursuit of medicine and my commitment to service and I am truly blessed to be a part of S.C.A.R.F.


I am Zeena Thakkar, and this is my first year at the S.C.A.R.F. Program. This summer I have learned the importance of higher education, critical thinking and teamwork. Dr. Nguyen constantly stresses the importance of having objectives in life. Having objectives gives meaning to your actions and sets a path toward success. This fall I will be attending St. Charles North High School as a senior. I will apply and select an undergraduate institution to attend. S.C.A.R.F. has given me the privilege to learn under Dr. Paul Nguyen. S.C.A.R.F. has given me firsthand experience with cardiac patients allowing me to witness the two most essential components of medicine, the technical component and the personal component.

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