Editor’s Note: Broadcom Community Heroes  recognizes civic engagement and volunteerism by Broadcom employees around the globe, who may nominate themselves or their colleagues for recognition under guidelines set forth by Broadcom Foundation. The Community Engagement Committee honors these employees with a $500 gift in their honor from a list of qualifying charities. In this series on the blog, we’ll profile each Community Hero to share stories about their interests and work benefiting their communities around the world.

Actively serving BAPS charities for seven years and counting, Manan Patel, a software development engineer in San Diego, remembers last year’s acts of volunteerism at BAPS first annual Walkathon. The proceeds from that event supported several initiatives including MAP Foundation for Academic Success, which is an organization that funds college scholarships for Escondido Union High School. Beyond Manan’s dedication to BAPS, he is a pioneer for the Broadcom MASTERS Jr. Varsity program. In this program, Manan encourages students to stay involved in science and engineering. He does this by showcasing and demonstrating the current Broadcom technology and explaining the importance of STEM courses in daily life and in their studies.

Here is an edited interview.

What inspired you to get involved with BAPS and what has it taught you?

Patel speaks with students part of the Broadcom MASTERS Jr. Varsity program

Patel speaks with students part of the Broadcom MASTERS Jr. Varsity program

What initially drew me to get involved was the culture of BAPS volunteers. Early on, I witnessed their tireless effort, collective spirit and high energy — it was contagious. When I participated in my first fundraising walkathon, the volunteers created a lasting influence on me and I had to join the cause. It has been rewarding to be among volunteers who are dedicated to creating better communities. These volunteers have taught me how to give back, serve and support my community.

Community Hero Manan Patel 3

What surprised you most about your work with BAPS?
Once I started working among BAPS volunteers, I was surprised by their continued level of enthusiasm and cooperative nature. I am touched by their invaluable willingness to serve society.

Where do you see the greatest community impact?
BAPS Charities impacts many facets of society and supports various initiatives including community activities  (fundraising through walkathons, community cleanups, food drives and clothes recycling), educational services (schools/colleges, scholarships, career fairs and hostels), environmental work (Earth Day and tree planting campaigns), health & wellness ( blood drives, bone marrow drives, children health and safety education, health fairs, hospitals, and mobile medical clinics) and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Community Hero Manan Patel 2What would you like to accomplish with BAPS next year?
Next year in August we are planning to organize a walkathon with the American Cancer Society in San Diego!

Share with us a favorite story about BAPS. What made the experience so rewarding?
Last year I started a fundraiser for the BAPS Walkathon in San Diego. The proceeds supported the MAP Foundation program to raise college scholarships for the Escondido Union High School district. The remainder would help other social beneficiary activities that partner with BAPS. I started my campaign by sharing the link with colleagues and friends with an initial target goal of $500. Once I had reached my goal, I wished I had set the bar higher and raised more. Well here is the kicker… I was selected as Broadcom Community Hero and could then donate more to BAPS! Being chosen as a Broadcom Hero and having the ability to donate my prize is my favorite story about the work I have done so far.

What would you say to inspire other Broadcom employees to volunteer?
We all have to remind ourselves to stop glorifying the phrase, “I am too busy.” We are all busy but that should not stop us from giving back. If you are in the situation where you can pay it forward, let’s empower one another to serve individuals who are not as fortunate. Remember, in the happiness of others, lies our own.