Reading Eshaan Chandani’s resume can make a high-energy person feel exhausted. His academics and extracurricular activities are extensive and broad. Not bad for a 17-year-old who also happens to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar – the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a high school senior.
Eshaan just wrapped up his high school career at Johnston High School in Johnston. The son of mother Illa Chandani and father Salim Chandani, Eshaan jam-packed himself into the high school experience.
“My overall experience in high school was a huge mix of a lot of different experiences woven together,” he said. “I was involved in a variety of activities, whether it be extracurriculars, academics, work and sports, so I was able to meet a lot of different people in a lot of different spaces. Those connections and relationships are what truly made high school special to me.”
With a grade point average of 4.38, Eshaan’s academic endeavors have been unquestionably successful.
“My favorite academic subject is biology,” he said. “It’s always been an interest of mine since I was young, but it’s also just extremely fascinating to me because a lot of the answers as to how the life around us works and how we affect it can be found within the wide-reaching scope of biology.”
Outstanding academics is a family affair: Eshaan’s older brother, Afshan, has graduated with a master’s degree at Stanford University.
Eshaan’s extracurricular activities are wide, to put it mildly. He’s participated in the HOSA Future Health Professionals, Mock Trial, Debate, Science Olympiad, National History Day, Red Cross, Technology Student Association, Science and Sustainability Club, Community of Racial Equity, Student Council, National Honors Society and Silver Cord – all the while working at Hy-Vee. But that’s not all.
“I volunteered for a children’s disability health nonprofit called ChildServe, I volunteered as a Middle School Mock Trial coach, I was a volunteer Counselor for Camp Invention and as a director at the Iowa-Nebraska Red Cross Youth,” he said.
He also conducted several service projects through his position as the Iowa HOSA vice president of community service. He led one initiative that created more than 500 craft kits to help children with disabilities with their fine motor skills.
Johnston High School Principal Ryan Woods has been very impressed with Eshaan.
"I am so proud of everything Eshaan has accomplished in his time at JHS,” Woods said. “To be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar is a tremendous honor and I can't think of anyone who is more deserving than Eshaan. Most importantly, I believe Eshaan is an outstanding person. He is kind and courteous and his leadership potential is truly off the charts."
Eshaan plans on attending Northwestern University in the fall where he’s planning on majoring in psychology and science in human culture.
“I’ve always wanted to pursue a very interdisciplinary education in college, because I enjoy seeing how all of the fields intersect and build off of each other,” he said. “So, while I’m not completely sure whether I want to pursue medicine or law yet, I’m excited to tackle subjects that will fuel my passions for both.”