Aditya Singh, a Bellarmine sophomore majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, was recently awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship, a yearlong program for campus leaders who are committed to finding solutions for social problems.
Singh, who attended high school in Elizabethtown, Ky., has engaged in numerous service projects, including education outreach in his childhood home of New Delhi, India. In the future, he hopes to become a doctor working in a rural community where people have less access to high quality medical care.
“Aditya’s commitment to humankind is what drives his purpose at Bellarmine: His desire to be a doctor comes from his passion for service and helping others,” Bellarmine’s president, Dr. Susan M. Donovan, wrote in recommending him for the Newman Fellowship.
Singh was one of 290 students chosen for the award by Campus Compact
, a national nonprofit that promotes public good in higher education. The honor provides learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference, that emphasize personal, professional and civic growth. The fellowship also offers paths to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn said. “The stories of this year's Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond… it's what our country and our world desperately need.”
Singh is an honors student with a 4.0 grade-point average. Through his membership in Bellarmine’s Biology Club and Pre-Med Society, he has volunteered with area hospitals and local nonprofits like the Kentucky Humane Society, Volunteers of America and the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center. An English minor, he’s passionate about creative writing and is a contributor to Ariel, Bellarmine’s literary magazine.
He was also named a winner of Bellarmine’s 2019 Prize in Ethics essay contest. In his essay, “Our History in Verse,” Singh wrote of the importance of a holistic approach to education, saying that one’s history, culture and talents must be honored so that a student’s “humanity is allowed to blossom.”
Dr. Jonathan Blandford, associate professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Bellarmine, described Singh as an incredible human “who is truly motivated to go into medicine because of his desire to live and work in underserved communities.”
Singh lived in New Delhi until the third grade, when his family moved. In the 10th grade, he returned with his family for a year. “It was a culture shock,” he said. “It was significantly more impoverished, or maybe I was too young to notice before.”
He saw that many children were too poor to attend public schools; their families simply couldn’t spare them during the day.
Called to action, he and his brother gathered textbooks and began teaching homeless children. He asked friends to help, and the effort grew and improved.
“I was able to establish an environment that the children felt eager to return to, and it deepened my understanding of the fact that there existed no correlation between their impoverished disposition and their desire to learn,” he said. “It was a way to truly give back to the community in a way that was impactful enough.”
Returning to Kentucky, he combined his desires to serve and become a doctor and spent his spare time in high school coordinating events like blood drives.
He said he chose Bellarmine for its reputation of academic excellence and received the Bellarmine Scholar Award
, which provides a full scholarship and a stipend to study abroad.
He said he’s grateful for the Newman Fellowship and is particularly looking forward to attending the November conference in Boston and connecting with other students also inspired to serve. He hopes to bring ideas back to Bellarmine that could be incorporated into The Big Event
day of service, or in other ways.
“It will really allow me to enmesh myself in the community,” he said. “It’s less of an award and more of an opening of a door.”