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Student Highlights: Raghu Appasani

raghu appasani

Just a few weeks ago, I was running along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. A few days later, I was back to rounding at 6am on the surgical service at UMass Chan. Although, I had only escaped the wards for a few days to another world—the experience was transformative. I was invited by Mofilms, the world’s first BrandTech company, to attend the One Young World Summit as a Delegate Speaker. At first, I had only a vague idea of what OYW was. However, next thing I knew I was sitting on the lawn of Parliament Hill in Ottawa at an opening ceremony for the Summit led by Prime Minister Trudeau, Emma Watson, Kofi Annan, Muhammad Yunus, and many more prominent and successful world leaders.

In a nutshell, One Young world is the world’s largest gathering of nations after the Olympics, consisting of all 196 UN-recognized countries and 1,300 delegates. The purpose is to empower youth to come together and form lasting connections to create positive change across the globe. This description only touches upon the untangible connections and energy, which filled the crowd and convention center each and every day. It only graces the tip of the connections that were formed over drinks and dinners after-hours.

As a delegate speaker, I had the privilege of being 1 of 35 to be able to share my story and passion to a crowd of 1,300. For those that do not know, I am the Founder & CEO of The MINDS Foundation. The Minds Foundation is changing perceptions of mental health by teaching over 30,000 people to detect symptoms and provide front-line counseling and reducing stigma. So far they have treated over 650 patents from 87 villages and are rolling the program out across 170 communities in the coming year. I had the opportunity to be introduced by James Chau, a broadcaster, writer, UN Goodwill Ambassador, and China’s first Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS.

The connections which I formed will not only enable me to gain a better perspective on the issues needing work around the world, but will empower me to work with folks consisting of the energy needed to make change around these issues. As a future physician in the modern world, I truly believe that we must focus not only on our patients in our one single hospital organization, but continue to think about health equality and how the work we do can empower the one world, one community, in which we all live in.

View Raghu's speech here.

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