Caring, Determined & Confident.
Neha Ramesh caught our eye earlier this year when she presented at the UN Youth Voice Queensland Grand Final at Parliament House. After three gruelling rounds addressing questions like ‘How can we encourage international collaboration in scientific research?’, Neha eventually made it to The Finals, where she had to propose a solution to the question, ‘How can we improve our Australian Education system?’
Despite having very little time to prepare, Neha pushed through the nerves and laid down an argument that gained her proud recognition throughout her school.
Neha started public speaking and debating in grade six and has continued the exercise through to her high-school years. What’s interesting about this Spark is that when asked why she likes debating she doesn’t just respond with the expected answer along the lines of ‘I enjoy winning’ or ‘I’m good at arguing’. Instead, Neha loves the sport because it allows her to give a voice to those who don’t have the confidence themselves or perhaps are lacking the right platform. She truly believes that public speaking is an opportunity to break down barriers, and she wants to see it used between communities to address ideas that will benefit those who either don’t have the opportunity to speak up, or the funds to address the right audience.
This insight as to why she is an avid debater is a clear sign of Neha’s caring personality, especially when you learn that she wants to pursue medical research for the sake of giving back, and helping developing countries cure diseases.
Neha recalls that she started to develop a deep connection to helping people after a World Vision ad that made her reflect on how privileged her own life was. With access to higher education, medical care and a supportive family who has given Neha endless opportunities, she now knows first hand what you can achieve when given a voice and access. Moving forward, Neha plans to focus her efforts on giving something back through medical research – a situation that she explains as ‘win-win’ because of her passion and interest in Science as well.
We love hearing about your motivations, Neha and wish you all the best in the future!
SEVEN SPARK QUESTIONS
1. What are three words that describe you?
Happy, Driven, Passionate
2. Who is a female role model for you and why does she inspire you?
I think my biggest female role model is my mother – she works hard, always supports me through thick and thin and is the embodiment of what I want to be as a person.
3. What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received so far? Who was it from?
I think the best piece of advice I have ever received came from my mother. Everything happens for a reason, and one inconvenience may have saved you from a greater downfall. As someone who constantly stresses over minor inconveniences, this quote has made me a more positive person and has inspired a happier mindset.
I believe this quote from Cormac McCarthy sums it up quite well –
“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from”
4. What is something you’re good at that people wouldn’t know about you?
Something not many people may know about me is that I tend to give good advice to anyone who needs it. A lot of my friends come to me for advice on random issues, and I can safely say that my advice has helped a large portion of them. Other than giving advice on problems, I also adore baking!
5. What makes you happy?
Although baking is one of my favourite ways to make myself happy, I also love the satisfaction and feeling from being charitable and knowing that my actions have put a smile on someone’s face.
6. When you’re having a bad day, what makes you feel better?
Honestly, after a quick rant to my mum, I love going on Youtube or Instagram and watching something funny (normally puppy videos – they’re just so adorable!)
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time, and how do you plan to get there?
I’m someone who has a strong desire to make the world a better place, which is why I would like to study Medicine and delve into research. From there, I would like to have the ability to develop treatments for diseases that affect communities in developing countries, such as AIDS or polio, and be able to travel to these places and be a provider of medical care and treatments to people who need it but do not have the same privilege and access to adequate medical care as we do. Obviously, I will definitely need to work extremely hard just to be able to study Medicine, but I would also like to get to this position by working in research-based environments to gain exposure and understanding about treatments for the incurable diseases.