Butler Tech senior finalist for national career education award

WEST CHESTER TWP. —A Butler Tech senior is one of five Ohio finalists for a national, presidential scholar honor and will soon graduate with both a high school diploma and associate’s college degree.

Jay Patel of Butler Tech’s Bioscience School said he was shocked last month when he found out he was selected as a finalist among 5,000 candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education honor.

“It was quite a surprise and an honor,” said the West Chester Twp. teen.

Patel, who studies biomedical science at Butler Tech’s West Chester campus, is now among 628 finalists nationwide now being reviewed by the honor society officials for the final 25 winners in America for this school year.

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Winners then travel this summer to Washington, D.C., to be honored in an awards ceremony.

By taking 16-plus college classes and two capstone courses, Patel will graduate from high school with an associate’s degree in science and a phlebotomy technician certification.

Butler Tech officials said Patel is consistently a top-performing student in his classes, maintaining a 4.78 GPA despite working at his family business and being actively involved in extracurriculars at his home high school of Lakota West.

As a junior, Patel was selected for a highly competitive program that allows high school students to learn directly from healthcare professionals in the hospital setting. He was also elected U.S. High School Team Leader for the United Planet Global Health Program – an eco-activism initiative that pairs students from across the United States with students in Baghdad.

Danielle Mink, a biomedical sciences instructor at Butler Tech, wrote of Patel in her nomination letter: “In my 21 years of teaching, I have encountered few students who match Jay Patel’s drive, focus and initiative.”

Patel, who later this month will earn both his high school and a 2-year college diploma, is headed to the University of Cincinnati in the fall to study in the school’s medical science program and go on to medical school.

Mink said Patel volunteers regularly with a variety of community organizations.

Most notable, she said, is his work with the spiritual care department at a local hospital. Being multilingual, he is able to help break the communication barrier by translating for patients. In an effort to improve the care of the hospital’s growing Hindu population, he was able to connect the hospital staff with leaders of a local Hindu religious center.

“Butler Tech has set me up to achieve my goals through resources that it has provided me such as opportunities to shadow doctors, network, and the ability for me to take college classes which have all helped me in developing my passion and allowed me to get a step in the right direction for my goals,” said Patel.

“My instructors have pushed me relentlessly, finding and serving me with a full plate of opportunities that I gladly took.”

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