An East Meadow High School student has earned a prestigious national honor for her volunteer efforts at a local hospital.
Ikshu Pandey, a senior, has volunteered since her freshman year at Nassau University Medical Center, where her tasks have ranged from delivering meals to organizing records in the hospital's burn unit and emergency room.
She recently received a gold-level President's Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 250 hours in a 12-month span. The award is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Pandey was inspired to volunteer at the hospital after witnessing her grandmother Gayatri's battle with dementia. She died in 2017.
"I really admired the people I worked with, and it pushed me even further to want to be a physician," said Pandey, 17, who aspires to be a neurosurgeon.
Pandey's other volunteer efforts have included teaching Hindi to children at Gayatri Pariwar of Long Island and being an executive board member of the East Meadow Public Library's Student Advisory Board.
She is also her class valedictorian, co-president of the Science Honor Society, and co-vice president of the French and Math honor societies. She founded the latter society's peer tutoring program.
In addition, Pandey plays violin in the chamber orchestra, is on the varsity tennis team and bowling team, and has researched brain aneurysms at Stony Brook University.