Article - Office of College Advancement

Teen is a big fan of Fremont

By Matthew Artz.

Sunday, October 18, 2009—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area: Contra Costa Times.

Fremont—Call him crazy, but Anish Dave loves Fremont just as ardently as his favorite hockey and football teams.

So when it came time to pick a university, the 18-year-old Irvington High School graduate tossed out his UC acceptance letters and enrolled in Ohlone College. And on Monday, he'll become the youngest member of the city's Human Relations Commission.

"Maybe it sounds crazy, but I love the place I live," Dave said. "I know some people don't have that connection."

It's not that Dave lacks curiosity or plans to spend the rest of his adolescence commuting between his parents' house and City Hall. He'll enroll in a UC campus as a junior and wants to enlist in the Peace Corps after college.

It just that right now, he wants to devote time to the things he loves: politics, debating, the San Jose Sharks, the San Francisco 49ers and Fremont.

"I feel almost indebted to the city," he said. "It's given me a home. It's given me a perspective. The city has always been there for me."

It's not easy for Dave, the son of a technology worker and a teacher, to explain exactly why at an age when many people are itching to venture someplace new, he feels so connected to his hometown.

He's lived his entire life in the same Warm Springs district house. He played Little League and had lots of football catches.

But Dave, a stocky kid who speaks softly, is no jock. In high school, he put most of his competitive energy into debate, where he argued about anything from the merits of a full-time state Legislature to the India-Pakistan conflict.

At Irvington, he got the itch for public service from his government teacher, Cheryl Cook-Callio, who is also vice mayor of Pleasanton. She put him in contact with Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, who put Dave to work on a community health fair. Last year, Dave volunteered on the City Council campaign of Torrico aide Trisha Tahmasbi.

Dave wants to go to law school and eventually run for City Council, but he has no illusions that he's ready to serve.

"I'm not embarrassed to say (the current council members) have more perspective because they've been through a lot," he said. "I don't think anyone at this age is ready to run for council."

For now, Dave is focused on his Ohlone classes and is looking forward to visiting friends this spring at various college campuses.

He doesn't have any concrete proposals for the Human Relations Commission, which tackles social issues and bridges the differences among Fremont's many ethnic communities.

"I really want to learn about what's going on in my hometown," he said. "My duty is to be well-informed."

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