BY TRONE DOWD
Born in Kenya to African and Indian parents, Ravi Patel is a third generation Kenyan-Indian. Due the tumultuous times in Kenya during the 70s and 80s, his parents decided that it would be safer to send Patel and his brother to Gujarat, India, with their grandmother. While in India, the boys attended boarding school for five years as their parents worked night and day saving up for the boys to join them in New York.
“My story resembles many immigrants story,” he said. “My parents came here with absolutely nothing but their family support. They worked night and day and got an apartment in Woodside, where my story would start. I came to the U.S. in the summer of 1992 and lived in a one-bedroom apartment with sometimes 10 to 12 family members, all of whom were in the same situation as my mom and dad, trying to settle and make something of themselves.”
Patel called his 20 years spent in Woodside “very influential and memorable,” shaping him into the man he is today. During those years, he attended PS 11, IS 125 and the prestigious Stuyvesant High School.
By his college years, he decided that what he wanted to do for the rest of his life was help others. He attended New York City Technical College, Long Island University and Touro College Graduate School in his pursuit of breaking into Physical Therapy. After earning his degree, he found that he could fufill his aspirations at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York serving as director of Business Development.
“I have always been attracted to organizations who are community based,” he said. “Helping and improving our community and proactively advancing health care.”
Patel has been married for seven years to his college sweetheart, Keyuri Patel, whom he has known for 13 years. Together the couple has two kids, 5-year-old Airya and newly born Keel who is just 17 months old. The family resides in Bellerose. Patel says that his wife is a physical therapist who has started her own practice in Floral Park.
“She loves helping individuals in our community strive to be their best,” Patel said.
Patel said that his childhood friends, with whom he has maintained strong friendships, have become some of his biggest motivators.
“It is this connection and closeness that keeps me grounded and always helping others who are new to this country, who aspires to follow their goals and want to fulfill the American Dream. I am blessed to live in this country, appreciate everything it has to offer and am committed to give everything back to this country. I am blessed to stay true to our backgrounds and upbringings and am committed to pass our humbleness to our next generation.”