Lithia & Driveway Scholar Series

Lithia & Driveway Scholar Dev Kapil: From India to Southern Oregon University

Finding Community 

Born and raised in India, Dev moved to the United States at the age of 13 in 2019 with his family. Along the way, he has fostered community while excelling in academics. Starting his education at Grants Pass High School, Dev faced the challenge of learning a new language while also excelling in Spanish and English classes. Despite the initial difficulties, he embraced the change and did well in his studies. Dev’s father’s new business then took them to Riddle, where he attended Riddle High School for three years. 

Dev excelled in his studies at Riddle High School where he earned 38 college credits. Notably, he obtained a certificate in Medical Office Administration, showcasing his enthusiastic interest in healthcare and a proactive approach to skill development. 

Dev’s passion for tennis, cultivated since the age of seven, led him to the varsity tennis team at Grants Pass High School. Despite the absence of a tennis team at Riddle High School, Dev continued developing his skills and interest in tennis, cricket, and volleyball. He also started collecting currencies, and has amassed 103 different ones so far.  

Dev’s accomplishments in academics and extracurricular activities are an inspiration and reflect a well-rounded individual driven by a desire to succeed.  

The Road to Academic Excellence

Now a biology major, Dev aspires to become a cardiologist, influenced by his parents’ successful careers in medicine. Family expectations motivate him to pursue excellence, echoing the academic and professional achievements of his mother and father.  

Despite facing challenges adapting to the nature of college education compared to the practical approach of his previous school, Dev is determined to evolve and embrace different learning methodologies. His involvement in the Honors College at SOU reflects his commitment to intellectual growth. The Honors College has helped Dev hone his critical thinking skills, encouraging him to think outside the box and contribute innovative ideas to discussions. Dev’s future aspirations include joining a democracy project in India, demonstrating his commitment to global perspectives and civic engagement. Dev says,

“It’s an honor to be a part of the SOU Honors College. Professors become your guides, helping you dig deeper. The classes allow space to explore your curiosity about the world. It’s a community of driven individuals who push each other. You learn how to actually use what you know and make a real impact.” 

As a Resident Assistant in the Shasta dorms, Dev actively participates in social activities, supporting fellow RAs and organizing events for residents. This role highlights his leadership skills and dedication to fostering a vibrant community within the university. 

Dev says, “There was this quote I saw recently, ‘The magic we are looking for is what we are avoiding.’ It really stuck with me. All that work I was putting off, that was the magic I needed. Before, I’d just procrastinate, but this quote flipped a switch. Now I’m succeeding in getting my work done faster and with skill.”  

dev patel lad scholar in text

LAD Scholar Dev Kapil

Balancing Academics and Community  

In college, Dev wants to improve his ability to retain information. He learns best by doing, finding practical applications for theoretical concepts. Currently, the focus on theory in college lectures is challenging for Dev, who thrived in the more example-based teaching style of his smaller high school. Dev aspires to develop the skill of effectively learning from written materials like notes and independently solving problems based on those learned concepts. 

Despite his packed schedule—juggling 22 credits and RA responsibilities—Dev remains disciplined, waking up at 5 a.m. daily. This dedication stems from his commitment to both academic excellence and physical strength, reinforcing his goal of self-sufficiency and independence.  

His favorite thing about SOU so far is the professors. He says,

“At SOU, the professors are awesome. Everyone says they’re distant and unhelpful, but that’s totally wrong. They’re genuinely super nice. Professors are always willing to go the extra mile to help you understand the material.” 

He says about the LAD Scholarship, “It’s a game-changer. My parents said they’d cover everything if I didn’t get a scholarship, but I wanted that independence. In our Indian household, kids don’t usually work for college, it’s on the parents. But I felt different. Here in the US, it’s normal to pay your own way, and I wanted that. Thanks to the scholarship, college is completely covered. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I can just focus on my studies.” 

View the ways to give to SOU Scholarships here.

LAD Scholar Dev Kapil From India to Southern Oregon University