“Do you know what the most important shot in golf is?”
Kishan Patel thought for a moment before answering the question his high school golf coach had asked him.
“I don’t know,” Kishan replied.
“The next one.”
Three years ago Kishan didn’t realize the importance of the conversation he had with his coach, but from that moment on, he applied those wise words to so much more than golf.
In 2014, Kishan was selected to receive a Youth on Course scholarship. This spring, he will graduate a year early from the University of California Davis with a degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB). Looking at his brief but successful time in college, it is easy to see how Kishan applied his coach’s advice to every opportunity that was presented to him.
In his freshman year at UC Davis, Kishan and a friend found their “next shot” and jumped on the opportunity to make a difference. They noticed that a large portion of pre-health students, themselves included, didn’t have mentors or the resources to help them navigate the difficult and confusing pre-health process.
Eager and determined to make a difference, they created the Pre-Health Ambassador Network (PHAN).
“[PHAN] is designed to aid first-year pre-health students on their path through undergraduate education at UC Davis,” Kishan explained. “[we help] them achieve their goals of going to a health professional school by hosting workshops and advising students.”
PHAN has been wildly successful at UC Davis thanks to Kishan’s dedication and can-do attitude. Just this April, PHAN hosted the first annual UC Davis High School Pre-Health Symposium that attracted hundreds of high school students interested in getting a glimpse at what their pre-health future holds.
As for golf, Kishan still finds time to enjoy his release from school at the range on his occasional weekends at home with his family.
“[Youth on Course] helped in furthering my education and keeps me motivated,” Kishan said. “I strive to achieve as much as I can and I strive to reach my goals because there are people backing me, who are willing to put money and actual monetary value behind me, and say ‘we believe in you, go out and do something great in the world.’”