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Lakshmi Ravindra, President of UNICEF at VCU

Lakshmi Ravindra

Age: 20

Year: Junior

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Major: Biology

Why VCU?

Since I was born and brought up in Richmond, I have been able to see VCU transform throughout the years — in a good way! I love the diversity present at VCU and all that it has to offer to its students, like wonderful professors, organizations and an overall great campus. For pre-med students, VCU definitely has a strong science department and students can easily find exciting shadowing/research opportunities on the MCV campus. Also, who doesn’t love our amazing basketball team? #HAVOC

How are you involved on campus or in the community?

On campus, I am the President of UNICEF and am part of a classical Indian dance team, Thandavam. In the community, I mentor at Carver Promise and work as a scribe in the local Emergency Department.

Tell us more about UNICEF at VCU? How is different from other relief and charitable organizations?

UNICEF at VCU is a Campus Initiative chapter of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. There are some really incredible relief and charitable organizations on campus, but what sets us apart is what we believe in and how we accomplish our goals. UNICEF at VCU believes in zero preventable child deaths, as currently 17,000 children die daily from causes like malnutrition, lack of clean water and lack of immunizations. In order to work towards our goal of preventable child deaths, we have three pillars: Fundraising, Education and Advocacy, that are always looking to hold events on campus and in the community.

Why did you choose this organization to focus on in respect to other clubs you may be a part of?

I chose UNICEF at VCU as my focus because I believe in what it stands for and looks to change. I took most of the issues UNICEF deals with (like lack of clean water or immunizations) for granted before joining; however, I now understand how prevalent of concerns they are and hope to help those impacted.

How has it helped you? How has it changed your college experience?

It has helped me by making me more globally aware. It has changed my college experience by: (1) finding a cause I feel passionately about, and; (2) introducing me to a remarkable group of people who work hard daily to make a difference.

What are your goals for the organization?

My goals for are to raise significant funds for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, volunteer more in the community and help get our message out to more students/people in the Richmond community.

Are there any events coming up that we should know about?

We are always holding different events! Our teachUNICEF program goes to an elementary school weekly, our action (fundraising) committee holds frequent events, and our advocacy program is looking to offer members multiple volunteer opportunities a month.

How does one get involved with UNICEF at VCU?

Feel free to attend our GBM’s and send us an email at [email protected] so we can add you to our email list! We send information about all upcoming events via email every week.

Aside from school and organizations, how else do you spend your time in RVA?

I really enjoy trying new food places with my friends, since Richmond has so many great restaurants. Also, I like exploring different parts of Richmond because I find there is always something new to see!

Say you were walking through Monroe Park and you see a big crowd of people surrounding a homeless man, would you give him CPR if he were dying?

Yes, of course!

What makes you bored?

Feeling like I’m not being challenged! And yes I know that sounds crazy, but I can only lay in bed and watch Netflix for a few days before I get bored.

3 things that make you appreciate life?

Wonderful family/friends, cute animals and the positive things people are doing for others despite all the negativity present today.

Tell me about someone you really admire.

I truly admire my parents who continue to set great examples for my brother and me. They have taught us the importance of following your dreams, working hard, never taking anything for granted and giving back to others.

Simren is the president of the Her Campus VCU chapter.  She is a fourth year student at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Biology, minoring in Spanish, and pursuing a career in medicine. She grew up in Virginia Beach, Va and believes that no matter where she goes, she will always be a beach bum at heart. Her favorite color is purple and she absolutely adores puppies, but she was never allowed to have one as a child (ruined childhood much?). She is proficient in the art of orange peeling and an avid Netflix watcher. She loves traveling, watching college baseball and basketball, and eating Thai food. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, @loveesimm   #hcxo
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