Growing up in a little 40 family village in India, Roshan Patel was one of six children from his village who had the privilege of attending boarding school for 12 years to receive an exceptional education. Roshan’s parents chose to spend their hard earned money on their sons’ education by paying for them to attend such a prestigious school. “After I finished sixth grade in boarding school in India, my parents decided to move our family to the United States so my brother and I could receive a better education and have a brighter future,” Roshan said.
The Patel family did not speak English, so moving to America was both difficult and a culture shock. Although slightly intimidated, Roshan knew he had been brought to the U.S. to learn, and he was determined to overcome any obstacle, even a language barrier. Through hard work perseverance, and motivation, Roshan now speaks English and currently attends Nicholls State University in Louisiana. He is also an intern for PwC. “It took me two to three years to learn English. I practiced on my own and used cartoons to help me understand simple words. I could not have mastered this language without the patience and support of my tutors. I strived to be a success story others admired.”
While interning with PwC in Houston, Roshan had the opportunity to volunteer at a Summer Reading Camp hosted at Benbrook Elementary School. “I was scared when I first arrived because this was my first time working with young kids, but I quickly realized there was nothing to be afraid of. If one of my students were struggling, I refused to leave them behind because when I was taught English, I was never abandoned or given up on. I wanted these seven- and eight- year olds to have the same support I had received. The mere presence of a supportive individual goes a long way,” Roshan explained.
Roshan believes that literacy is a priority and the key to continual success. Roshan witnesses his parents struggle in many aspects of life because they do not speak English. “After living here for five years, my parents applied for their U.S. citizenship but ran into numerous hardships when preparing for the test. Passing the test was nearly impossible when a portion of it involved participating in an interview that requires communication and comprehension in English,” said Roshan. “It is important we start young when educating the youth. My parents would often ask me what certain words meant and just because I was younger, it didn’t mean I couldn’t help. Kids can be used to teach their parents and share the knowledge they have accumulated.”
Roshan is forever grateful for the chance he was given “by PwC to make a difference not only in their firm but also in the community. Volunteering at a literacy camp with children allowed me to share my own experiences and assure them that they aren’t alone and have a whole community supporting them.” Thank you PwC and Roshan for sharing your story, volunteering and being a success story.