New American Scholars


An Unforgettable Night: Receiving the NextGen Award at New Hampshire's Outstanding Women in Business Event

Written by: Riyah Patel, Founder and President of New American Scholar

I still feel the lingering echoes of applause in my ears and the warmth of the spotlight on my face as I stood before an audience of formidable women. Last week, I had the honor of receiving the "NextGen Award" at the New Hampshire Business Review's Outstanding Women in Business event.

The evening was nothing short of magical—a gathering of powerful, ambitious women from different industries and walks of life, all celebrated for their incredible achievements. I could feel the room pulsate with the collective energy of these extraordinary women. I was overwhelmed by the advice, support, and encouragement I received, not to mention a standing ovation that will forever be etched in my memory.

A Room of Trailblazers

Firstly, I extend my deepest gratitude to the New Hampshire Business Review for hosting such a significant event. They've long celebrated the state’s most exceptional leaders, emphasizing that leadership knows no gender. Secondly, congratulations to all the women honored that evening. It's women like you who blaze trails for girls like me.

The Genesis of New American Scholars

I founded New American Scholars when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the traditional educational system to a screeching halt. This disruption hit refugee communities the hardest, widening an already existing educational divide. Driven by this inequity, I initiated our organization, focusing on academic aid, social support, and mentorship. We now operate in multiple cities, boasting over 56 dedicated tutors and impacting the lives of more than 240 students.

Lessons for the Next Generation

Believe in Yourself: Don’t let your age be a barrier. I was just 15 when I started New American Scholars. Challenge the status quo and prove that young people can drive change.

Find Your Circle: Surround yourself with individuals who motivate and challenge you. For me, that person was often my 10-year-old sister, whose relentless questions compelled me to think deeply and refine my vision.

Embrace Inquisitiveness: Never stop asking questions. Seek mentors, consult community leaders, and learn from anyone willing to teach you. If the answers don’t exist, create them.

Redefine Failure: Consider each setback as a stepping stone to growth. The word 'failure' should be replaced by 'growth,' a term far more indicative of the learning and resilience it often fosters.

We Are The Now

As I stood at that podium, I felt a profound sense of responsibility. We're not the leaders of tomorrow; we are the leaders of today. The room was filled with women who had crafted a blueprint for success. Now, it’s our turn to follow in their footsteps while creating our paths.

I want the next generation of leaders to realize that the future is an exciting place, unfettered by the limitations of the past. So go out there, make your mark, and remember, we're not next. We're now.

With relentless optimism, Riyah Patel