The Aashish Garg Memorial Program

The Aashish Garg Memorial Program


Thank you for your interest in the Aashish Garg Memorial Program.  This program was initiated to honor the memory and contributions of Aashish Garg, who was one of the charter members of the Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor Balavihar.  This will be an essay competition to recognize the senior who best emulates the spirit and values of the Chinmaya Mission Balavihar in the way Aashish strived for each day.  We are honored by and truly appreciative of every individual who is willing to learn about Aashish, and we truly hope that his scholarship serves as a legacy to remember him and the importance of Balavihar in our lives.  This program has been set up and started by the Garg family, with contributions from family, friends, and the community.


Aashish was a very loving, kind and caring person who followed the teachings that he learned at Balavihar throughout his journey of life.  He joined Balavihar at the age of six years-old when it met every Sunday in the basement of the Kumar residence.   He, along with his older brother, Manish, and his younger sister, Monika, were fortunate to be taught directly by Sharada aunty and Kumar uncle.  As the message and mission of the Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor Balavihar grew, more families became involved, and Avantika now exists as a true tribute to the passion of so many dedicated members.  Aashish matured with Balavihar and later on was able to give back to the group that had given him so much by becoming a teacher during his senior year of high school.  One of the indelible memories of Aashish was seeing all the children respond to his teaching style.  They smiled during the sessions, sang their shlokas and bhajans, and parents clamored for “Aashish’s class.”  Aashish learned core values of humility, service to others, and spreading good will that served him in all of his future endeavors. 

Aashish was honored to graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in computer engineering.  This expertise and operational insight helped Aashish to become an analytical and thoughtful person capable of helping so many people.  Aashish made the decision to begin his career in San Diego and there he was fortunate to complete a law degree at the University of San Diego.  Aashish passed the California Bar exam successfully and learned effective communication skills as an attorney.  Aashish’s ultimate professional vision culminated in him passing the California Patent Bar exam and acquiring a dream job at Qualcomm as a patent attorney.   Aashish was always a consummate professional and carried his affairs in accordance with his humble roots and values.

On September 18th 2010, Aashish married the love of his life, Neha Jain.  Aashish was blessed to have so many friends and family in attendance.  He truly appreciated the “celebration of a lifetime” and he always felt that he was fortunate to have all that was given to him.   Marriage taught Aashish the value of teamwork and unconditional giving.  Throughout his life, Aashish always believed in being good to others and working with people to achieve common goals. 

Sadly, Aashish was taken away from us on March 9, 2011 after a five month battle with cholangiocarcinoma.   Aashish never complained that his life wasn’t fair, he accomplished so many goals never thought possible, he brought life and strength to challenging times, and he brought many families closer together.  His encouragement, support, and loving nature to everyone who came in contact with him are indeed a tribute to his life.

Aashish the Person: Core Values

Aashish always believed in justice, humility, service, and spending time with those he loved.

Nature of the Competition

All applicants to the Aashish Garg Memorial Program must be graduates of the Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor Balaviihar (including all its satellite Balavihars).  The applicant must understand the essence of the commitment that Balavihar teaches to its students.  The $500 reward will be granted to 1 recipient each year to be applied towards college tuition.  The due date for submission will be June 15th for 2011, and April 10th for all following years.

Selection Criteria

  1. The successful candidate must be a graduating member of the Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor Balavihar (including all the satellite CMAA Balavihars) in good standing.
  2. The successful candidate must write an essay (with a limit of 1200 words) listing his or her learning experiences at Balavihar and how he or she intends to practice these attributes in his or her professional and personal life.  Please submit the essay to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  3. The successful candidate should be nominated by their fellow teachers and students as being an exemplary and dedicated teacher.
  4. The successful candidate must show evidence of service in the spirit of Aashish’s core values learned from Balavihar.
  5. All decisions of the selection committee will be final.


The program is heart-felt and the mission is big.  Even one person can make a difference for many.  This truly will be a tribute for Aashish who attempted to make a difference in the life of everyone he touched.  We thank you for your time and consideration and appreciate your thoughtful responses.