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10 Rising Hearts: star student is also a substance abuse prevention advocate

10 Rising Hearts showcases students making a difference in our community

She's a star student leading a campaign against e-cigarettes and vaping. Meet Manshi Patel.

AP Calculus challenges the brightest students at Oak Ridge High School. 

But for Manshi Patel, it is just one stop along a day full of difficult classes:

AP Calculus

AP Economics

AP Psychology

AP English

AP Stats

French 5

Student Council

The17-year-old senior also leads several clubs:

French Club President

Interact Secretary

Student Council President

"She's been very kind, she is very polite, and she is involved in so many things but she is able to give it her all," school social worker Alison King said. 

Manshi gives her all to a group called ASAP: Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention. She is president of the organization. 

She is passionate about preventing substance abuse, which encompasses much more than alcohol and drugs. She focuses on vaping and e-cigarettes. 

"Even though smoking cigarettes has gone down, vaping has gone up just as much if not more. And it looks like in the future that number will increase because of the fact that people have misconceptions," Manshi Patel said. 

Students have shared their concerns with her about vaping and she's become an advocate. 

ASAP Sponsor Tribby Kelly said, "She has actually gone to the City Council and she's got a couple of City Council members to back her and they are helping her sponsor the vaping issue that a lot of the students have at the high school and she's also going to go the different schools teaching the different staff members what the vaping devices look like."

Manshi says older students mentored her and encouraged her to not only join organizations but also to lead them.

"I became the president of Student Council, ASAP, French Club. And it wasn't easy but it wasn't that hard because I had a lot of support, I had a big support system," she said. 

Now Manshi is lending her support to younger students, encouraging them to seek leadership positions. It's not surprising that she wants to help others. 

"She's the kind of kid that sees if someone is struggling and she goes to that child and she helps them.  She is well known for that here at the school," Tribby Kelly said. 

Alison King said, "I think whatever she wants to do she's going to be able to do it. She's one of those kids that will go far and I can't wait to see what life takes her."

Life will take her to college at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She's not sure what she will study but she knows she will continue to be a social activist. 

Do you know a student who reaches beyond their schools and families to help make our community better? To nominate a student, please send an email describing them and their community service to 10Hearts@wbir.com

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