“As a student interested in further exploring the field of public health, I am personally committed to working towards improving the health of my community. If we can secure and promote healthy practices and behaviors among a population, then we will automatically improve the health of individuals as well. When a pandemic like COVID-19 arises, it doesn’t matter if we as individuals are healthy as this virus has devastated entire communities.
Throughout my high school career, experiences like regularly being at the hospital, working closely with a political official, and leading my peers as the vice president of HOSA have helped me realize the importance of maintaining the health of our community. Public health is about putting plans in place so people can achieve their health goals, enabling an overall healthier environment and not just the individual. It is about empowering communities to eliminate health disparities and inequities. Health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector; it goes beyond healthy lifestyles.
While in lockdown, I took a course with Harvard University titled “Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety.” Listening to these professors’ discussions, I understood that if the status quo is not altered, it is inevitable my generation will see another pandemic similar to COVID over the next decade. I truly believe in proactively learning and practicing “Social Focused Preventive Medicine” vs. the current approach. I welcome the challenge of serving a large community and participating in such a dynamic field. What if abandoning unnecessary procedures saved thousands of dollars, which then allowed a hospital to treat other patients needing care? What if every person was guaranteed care and that care was good? I hope to one day find answers to these questions in my journey through college and work.” –-Shreya S.
From Kim Loudermilk, NCVirtual Peer Tutoring Instructional Leader
“Shreya has worked in our Peer Tutoring Center at NCVirtual School for the last year. She has participated in other PTC programs, such as our Virtual Buddy program, for which she has become a co-lead. In this role, she works with students on time management and organizational skills to prepare them for success in the classroom and the world of work. In her co-lead role, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities while performing her duties.
Shreya has worked with fellow team members to use various tools to help their “Virtual Buddies” learn how to use schedules and other tools for success in the classroom and their daily lives. She worked with her team to develop the plans, training, and other materials necessary to make this program a success. Shreya is also active in our AP Initiative program, leading in our AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology team. She has created and shared resources and materials for other AP tutors in these areas to support them as they tutor the AP student population utilizing our Upswing tutoring platform.
Shreya’s leadership and vision have positively impacted our online tutoring program. Through her modeling and leadership, she has positively impacted many students and other peer tutors. She has received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award (Gold) for the last three years due to her volunteer work through our Peer Tutoring Program this previous year and other volunteer projects. The “Gold” category exemplifies the highest honor given in this award based on the number of hours a recipient has volunteered.” –Kim Loudermilk, NCVirtual Peer Tutoring Instructional Leader
Virtual Interview with Shreya S.
Tell us about your experience with NCVirtual.
As a student who attends an early college, I didn’t have the opportunity to take very many AP classes at my middle college as very few advanced classes were offered in the curriculum. At NC Virtual I had the opportunity to use the online learning platform to take a variety of classes, work with my teachers and peers on a completely different medium, and also adapt to a new style of teaching and learning.
At NC Virtual, I took AP Computer Science Principles and AP Statistics in my junior. Currently, in my senior year I am taking AP Biology and AP Human Geography.
Since I had the opportunity to take online courses through NC Virtual, I had the exposure to a different kind of learning. Even though I was hesitant at first about not being surrounded by a hands-on environment, the virtual platform taught me to be independent, a self-starter, and more respectable of the online workspace. I learned to be patient during times of difficulty, resilient while working with a virtual teacher, and most importantly hardworking no matter which medium I was being taught through. NC Virtual gave me a changed perspective of learning and made me more thankful for all the opportunities I had.
Has anything about taking online classes been a pleasant surprise?
Online classes definitely come with a lot more freedom than attending school in-person. But, with freedom also comes greater responsibility. When I first started taking classes at NC Virtual I was astonished to see that the teachers gave us a lot more independence in class and with our assignments. This was definitely a pleasant surprise but a good one. Every class was different at NC Virtual and every course came with a variety of expectations. I enjoyed the differing perspectives to teaching that came with each of the classes.
What’s your advice to other online students?
Many believe online learning is a lot easier or even a lot less work that going to school physically. But, I think that myth is one that has been proved wrong with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has taught students all over the world the true struggles of learning online and how much harder it is to keep up with grades, social life, and assignments. If we can strike the perfect balance between hard work, time management, and organization skills, online classes may not be all that difficult. All that matters is creating a schedule for yourself and working through it without deviation. There will definitely be times where assignments start piling up and other times where we are more relaxed. But no matter the situation, careful planning and outlook can get us through our classes successfully. It is also important to realize that help is always available for those who need it. Your teachers, your peers, and even the Peer Tutoring Center are all great ways to receive some guidance through challenging times. The correct resources and the right people can really have a huge impact on the way things turn out at the end.
Where do you spend most of your time online? And your downtime?
Since I am a current senior applying to college, most of my time spent on the internet is on websites like Common App, Google Drive, Naviance, and websites/portals of the colleges’ I’m applying to. Apart from these websites I am often on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a few college forums.
I actually spend my time outside in the nature taking my dog for walks, playing with my cousins, or just generally being outside during shopping or eating out. I am also an avid volunteer and have been volunteering in various places in my community like the YMCA, library, local tutoring organizations, the hospital, nursing homes, and government offices,
I’m not a person who usually has favorites but growing up I was a huge fan of Disney and love all their musicals, books, movies and shows!
What are your favorite activities to participate in?
My favorite clubs so far throughout high school have been Health Occupation Society of America, Future Business Leaders of America, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honors Society, Peer Mentoring, and tutoring organizations. I love that all of these clubs have one of their principles centered around service and character that is built through giving back to our community. No matter the competitions or scholarship involved in joining these clubs, they all maintain a motto of giving back through means of volunteering and helping others that are in need of assistance. Apart from these organizations, I enjoy camping, biking, and spending quality time in nature.
When I want to relax I usually spend time out in nature either walking trails or going for a bike ride. I also love dancing and have been training in Indian Classical Dance for the past 13 years. I also love watching TV, spending time with my puppy, painting/drawing, and just being around my family.
Tell us something random/fun/interesting about yourself.
I was born the 11th day of the 11th month, so my birthday is 11/11!
What’s your favorite healthy snack or healthy smoothie?
My favorite go-to healthy snack will always be fruit. I am a huge fruit lover and enjoy eating a variety of different fruits.
Tells us about your goals and plans.
I think goal setting is one of the important steps to attaining success in any field. This semester was definitely a hectic one for me with college applications, extracurriculars, and school work. I rarely found much time, but my biggest goal was to get all of my college applications in on time along with all my others scholarship applications. Time management was key this semester, and I am proud I was able to achieve my goal and get all my applications and materials submitted in time. It was also nice to start hearing back from colleges before the new year. There were many times I had to sacrifice playing with my pup, watching TV, or hanging out with my friends, so I could get everything done. It took a lot of balancing, determination, and persistence to keep going even when I was feeling burned out. College application season is definitely a tough one for most seniors but I wish all class of 2021 applicants and future applicants at NC Virtual the very best as they transition from high school to college.
As I mentioned earlier, I love dancing and as an Indian Classical Dancer I have been training in a South Indian dance form named Kuchipudi. I got the opportunity to complete my graduation in the art form in the August of 2018 and now I continue to develop my passion for the dance form through mentoring younger children at my dance school and as an active blogger. I hope to one day educate more people about this cultural art and bring more awareness to the ancient art forms of India. Apart from being a passionate dancer, I love to travel. My family and I have been on 7 cruises so far and have almost visited all the islands in the Caribbean. We traveled to Hawaii last spring and visited most of Europe during the summer of 2016. I truly believe traveling and learning about different cultures in the world gives us so much exposure to life and teaches us many new lessons that sometimes can’t be learned at school. It is amazing to see how we are so different from each other but yet interconnected through multiple mediums.