"I believe my involvement with various organizations from a young age really showcases that I thoroughly enjoy giving back and being involved in settings that enable change at both the small and large levels,” shares Ghotra.
Ravneet Ghotra, external relations specialist and board member of SOAR Philanthropic Society, is a woman of many talents and accomplishments. She has been an avid contributor and active member of her community since her high school days. Ghotra led the Environmental Club at Southpointe Academy, and volunteered for numerous organizations including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at the age of 15. She was even appointed as the youngest board member on the Surrey CIBC Run for the Cure committee through the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, which allowed her to gain leadership skills and experience working on a project that was very dear to her. “I believe my involvement with these organizations from a young age really showcases that I thoroughly enjoy giving back and being involved in settings that enable change at both the small and large levels,” shares Ghotra.
What truly shaped Ghotra’s involvement in her local community was her volunteer work with SOAR Philanthropic Society. SOAR is a youth-led non-profit organization that provides scholarships to low socioeconomic students who aspire to attend local post-secondary schools. To this date, SOAR has been able to support students by providing over $50,000 in funds. “Initially, I began volunteering with SOAR in 2015 simply because my values aligned with their vision of giving back to the community. But most importantly, I wanted to place myself in an environment filled with driven people that would allow me to grow as a person,” recalls Ghotra.
As a dedicated student leader, Ghotra found SOAR to be a team that not only provides financial aid, but an “education outlet for important lifelong skills.” SOAR works hard to inspire young individuals to be the best version of themselves in both their professional and personal lives. This also lead Ghotra to pursue the opportunity of overseeing a project called SOAR Mentorship, which targets high school and post-secondary students to network with working professionals from various fields.
Collaboration and mentorship are two key aspects Ghotra has learned and also passed on to students taking advantage of SOAR resources. Throughout her involvement with SOAR, Ghotra has recognized that “our community needs to have leading organizations such as SOAR who are providing services to support, challenge and compel young individuals. The process to get these events running is anything but easy. However, in the end, the work itself is so rewarding that I wouldn’t dream of stepping away!”
Apart from SOAR, this young leader has also been involved in other amazing opportunities. This includes her time as a volunteer researcher for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and working as a tutor for children and teens. These experiences allowed her to act as a mentor, and be a part of a process where she could encourage children and witness their growth, accomplishments and confidence.
Ghotra pursued a Bachelor of Science at UBC, with the initial thought that she would one day become a physician. However, she soon realized that although her degree enabled her “to gain a new vision of the world,” it was not her true calling. That is why she has decided to follow her passion for social justice and will be attending law school at Bond University this fall.
Ghotra hopes to pursue a career in health sciences law, relating to youth advocacy, and focusing on how the legality of sciences can support some of the issues youth currently face. The community volunteer is very grateful for her parents and friends, who have always showered her with love and support to allow her to grow and reach new heights. When asked about what advice she may want to give to emerging student leaders, Ghotra says, “My advice for all young youth leaders is to simply get out of your comfort zone. Also, learn to collaborate, value people around you, and appreciate differences. But most importantly, learn to value yourself – your time, your energy, your happiness.”