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Teenage Aspiring Physician Gives Back to the Community

Volunteer of the Month: Nainika Ravichandran.

June 16, 2017

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized 17-year-old Nainika Ravichandran as the City of Albuquerque’s Volunteer of the Month for her leadership and her commendable dedication to service, volunteering to help individuals who are homeless and children who are in need.

Ravichandran recently graduated from Sandia Preparatory School, where she served as the President of Helping Helps, a student organization that volunteers with various nonprofit organizations. Through her leadership, she built a relationship with Zapatos, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides new shoes to children in need. With support from Zapatos, Inc., Ravichandran and her peers raised enough money to buy brand new shoes for 15-20 students from Mission Avenue Elementary School. Beyond this, she and her peers also spent several class periods making blankets and donated them to Cuidando Los Ninos to give to people struggling with homelessness.

The ambitious teen also spends her time volunteering for the University of New Mexico (UNM) Foundation’s Refugee Well-being Project, a program through which students from UNM serve refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and different countries across Africa. While volunteering for the Project, Ravichandran tutored refugee children here in New Mexico to help them adjust to a new environment. When she learned that many of the young refugees did not have many clothes, she took it upon herself to host a clothing drive this past winter. The drive resulted in Ravichandran donating over 100 pieces of clothing to the UNM Foundation’s Refugee Well-being Project’s participants.

To prepare for her future goal of becoming a physician, Ravichandran has also volunteered at Presbyterian Healthcare Services’ emergency department. Recently, she became interested in pursuing a career in surgery, this coming after completing an internship at the New Mexico Orthopeadic Surgery Center. This year, the accomplished volunteer received the Albuquerque Community Foundation’s 2017 Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque scholarship, a program that recognizes outstanding community servants. Ravichandran plans to use the scholarship for her undergraduate studies at UNM where she is currently enrolled as a freshman for the fall semester.

Ravichandran was born in the southernmost part of India and moved to the United States shortly after. She found her passion for volunteerism when she began volunteering with her mother at the Roadrunner Food Bank 10 years ago. Since she was 11-years-old, Ravichandran has donated more than 1,100 hours of her time giving back to a wide array of nonprofits. She is a service-driven student who has intentionally looked for ways to help children and adults in need. It is for these reasons that Nainika Ravichandran was recognized as the City of Albuquerque’s Volunteer of the Month for the month of June 2017.

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The ABQ Volunteers Advisory Board of the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism and Engagement, or the MOVE Advisory Board, is responsible for connecting volunteers with organizations in need of volunteers. MOVE’s activities receive advisement and support from the MOVE Advisory Board, as defined by its mission statement.