Sikh-American Rhode scholar Serena Singh tells her story

SERENA SINGH: This was one of the absolute CRAZIEST experiences in my entire life. Being recognized at a collegiate basketball game with thousands of people in the arena – Serene’s entry at her Facebook page. Photo: CU Independent

The Sikh faith is where Serene Singh finds her values. It is also what motivates the founder and captain of the university bhangra team and winner of the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship.

Growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she said she had trouble voicing which religion she identify with to her peers and educators.

“On one hand, I wanted to feel ‘American enough’ amongst my peers in school and on the other hand, had to be ‘Sikh enough’ when I went to the Gurudwaras (Sikh place of worship) and the Sikh camps I attended.

“I realized that the problem lies in really understanding in then being able to explain Sikh values to others. Everything that Sikhism believes in is very much in tune with American values, and it took me many years to realize the power and true growth that comes from being able to articulate those values and bring someone else into your world,” she told the We Are Sikhs blog.

She said that a huge part of her motivation and reason to get up and keep going every day has been gratitude.

“The idea of others not having access to the same abilities to dream, that I have been able to, always hurts me. In almost everything I do, I work to give that access to other people, who systematically might not have otherwise had that opportunity, so that they can dream and accomplish even more than I can ever imagine.

“Part of our job as Sikhs and humans is to be a part of a greater community in this world in which we are all uplifting and adding to the lives of one another,” she said.

In November 2018, Serene emerged as one of the winners of the coveted Rhodes scholarship that selects students worldwide to study at the University of Oxford in the UK on fully-funded scholarships.

Read the full story, ‘Serene Singh: Sikh-American Rhode Scholar’, here.



[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. How to reach us: Facebook message or WhatsApp +6017-335-1399. Our email: For obituary announcements, click here]


  1. Someone should inform this “Sikh”-American that she forgot to wear her Karaa in that photo.
    “Everything that Sikhism believes in is very much in tune with American values,”
    Seriously?Drugs,Alcohol,free sex,destruction of the family unit,abortions are Sikh beliefs?