“Work hard, don’t give up on your dreams. And if they don’t come true, find new dreams.”

Ishan Nath

Ishan Nath: Pursuing his dreams

March, 2014  Darien District 61 Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of its “Great Starts in District 61” recognition award, Mr. Ishan Nath.

Now 24, Nath started in kindergarten at Lace School in 1996. He spent his entire K-8 career in District 61 schools, graduating from eighth grade at Eisenhower Junior High School. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, Nath is currently in England in his second year at the prestigious University of Oxford.  He is pursuing a Masters in Philosophy degree in Economics and will graduate this spring.

After Eisenhower Junior High, Nath and his family moved to Atlanta.  He graduated high school from the Westminster Schools and went on to earn a B.A. in Economics with Honors & Distinction and a B.S. in Earth Systems with Distinction from California’s Stanford University in the spring of 2012. In November 2011 he was named a Rhodes Scholar and began his graduate studies in the United Kingdom following his graduation from Stanford.

Other accomplishments include spending two summers as an economic policy intern at the White House and the U.S. Treasury Department as well as several months working as senior consultant to the National Commission on the BP (British Petroleum) Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He also worked as an intern at the Carter Center, consulted for the Environmental Defense Fund, and spent a summer teaching seventh-grade science at a program called the Breakthrough Collaborative.

After earning his Masters from Oxford, Nath plans to return to the U.S. to begin work on a Ph.D. in economics and a career in academic research and public service.  His goal is to become both a professor and a policymaker.

Asked for a few words of wisdom for the students in District 6l, Nath deferred saying he’s not old enough to give words of wisdom, being just two to three times older than the students there now. But he did talk about tough situations he experienced and what he would say to his “seventh-grade self” today. “All you can really control for sure is the way you treat people every day. And if you do that right, if you just try to brighten the day of everyone you meet, every day – your friends, kids that aren’t really your friends, people who work in the cafeteria, people who clean the hallways, your teachers, your coaches – if you smile at them and show them respect and care about them, that is what really defines a successful person.”

See the full conversation with Ishan Nath