Arslan Kenbayev was born and raised in Almaty. The future college student says his love for science and technology that he nurtured since childhood stemmed from his parents.
In his school years, Arslan joined the school's Olympic Reserve and began studying physics in depth so he could compete in various competitions.
In tenth grade, he participated in the International Olympiad in Astrophysics Global e-Competition in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA), where his team won first place out of 150 countries. Individually, he also won the bronze medal at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition and got silver at the World Invention Competition and Exhibition (WICE).
The experience revealed the student's knack for using technology to come up with new ways to help others.
“A friend and I have developed an app for people in need. It connects a donor and a recipient. A donor is a person who has enough money to help other people in need. Help can be provided in any form: money, food, clothes and other material aid," said Arslan.
Arslan received invitations from Asian universities - KAIST in South Korea, HKUST, HKU, CityU in Hong Kong. The sum of all the grants he received totals $352,000.
In the end, the student chose the Korean university KAIST. He decided that the university has the right curriculum and community to help him achieve his dream of becoming an inventor.
Arslan says he wants to dedicate his life to doing what he loves: doing science and inventing.
"This is my dream. I want to reach my full potential and take advantage of all the opportunities. I wouldn't want to work for anyone. I would like to become Kazakhstan's Elon Musk. I want to contribute something new to society and improve life on Earth.”
Despite his achievement, Arslan remains humble. He praised his peers, noting that there are a lot of capable kids in Kazakhstan, who have talent in different spheres including in the sciences and music. He believes all of them have the potential to shine on the world stage.
When asked whether he would like to work in Kazakhstan, the student replied that though that would be ideal, he is not limited by borders. “I would like to be useful to the world. It may sound too ambitious, but why not set the bar high.”
The aspiring inventor concluded with a word of advice to his peers. “It is better to try a lot of things than do one thing all your life. Nothing you learn will ever be in vain.”