Dave, Ashish
Ashish Dave
Barbara and Alan Dreeben Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2022
Pearland, TX
High School
Dawson High School

For as long as I can remember, my driving motivation has been to leave a lasting legacy on our country and our world. My parents came to America as college students from India in search of opportunity that wasn’t afforded to them back home, and in true American Dream fashion, they worked tirelessly through tough times to create a prosperous life for themselves and their children. I want to give back to the nation that afforded my family a path to a better life, and thus one day desire to serve as an elected official at the statewide or federal level; in this way, I can influence policy that will create more success stories like those of my parents, both for native-born Americans and immigrants alike. These goals inspired me to start small by getting involved in my hometown of Pearland, where I served as the winning campaign manager for one of the youngest elected officials in the United States as well as the local representative for the Republican Party of Texas. However, leadership in my school was as important as leadership in my community to me. In addition to graduating as the salutatorian of my class, I served as the president/chairman of several organizations on campus, including the National Honor Society (NHS), the Interact Club, DECA, the Dawson Council for Harvey Disaster Relief, and the Academic WorldQuest Club. NHS and Interact in particular augmented my connection with my community through volunteering initiatives; I was most proud of the “Career Development Night” we pioneered, drawing professionals from 11 different sectors/industries to give students actionable career advice. DECA allowed me to further my childhood passion for finance and retail investing through competition, and I have placed top-ten worldwide in the finance category. My younger brother and I also co-founded the YMCA Youth and Government Club, a transformative program that allows participants to compete within a model replica of government and legislate student-authored bills in the House and Senate chambers at the Texas Capitol. One of my favorite leadership roles came in my senior year with the tennis team, when I founded and implemented the first tennis analytics program in our school’s history. As the Head of Analytics, I employed data-driven solutions to improve practice efficiency and craft match strategy with our head coach – not only was it tons of fun, but I was able to uniquely contribute towards the success of our team. Outside of school, I was/am an active volunteer with my local YMCA, earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, and remained an avid fan of all Houston sports teams. I suppose my high school career communicates a wide-ranging set of interests, but two things remained constant throughout: my passion for leadership and accomplishing positive, lasting change. Majoring in Business Honors and Plan II Honors at UT will allow me to continue to exemplify those qualities on the Forty Acres while combining my love for business and rhetoric. I cannot wait to expand my worldview through the incredible opportunities that Austin offers!

Business Honors; Finance; Plan II Honors

Honors Programs
Canfield Business Honors; Plan II Honors

Other Academic Interests
Spanish, Public Policy/Government, Aerospace Engineering

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program? 
Admittedly, I did not fully understand the significance of the Forty Acres Scholars Program until I was invited to Finalist Weekend in the spring of my senior year. The two benefits apparent to me when I applied were the full-ride scholarship and greater visibility with alumni, recruiters, and university officials. The scholarship would free me to pursue my academic and professional interests without financial worry; the enrichment stipend, in fact, would only improve my ability to do so. Connections and visibility offer benefits that cannot be quantified. However, the Finalist Weekend introduced a third benefit: the quality of students in the program. I already had an understanding that FASP members were some of the highest performing students applying to UT, but I wanted to test whether that held up after entering campus. Sure enough, many of the most successful students at UT also happened to be current scholars. Additionally, in my time with my cohort, what has most astounded me is that – for such a talented and high-achieving group – there is not a single member who is not genuine or insincere in their intentions towards others. Considering the nature of many successful and ambitious individuals, for this trait to be common among every member of such a sizable group in my experience was unprecedented. It was a simple yet remarkable benefit to an already prestigious program, and I am humbled and excited to be a part of it.