Coach - Communication Skills
- Communication & Public Speaking Enthusiast
Toastmasters Gavel Club President
Georgia Governor’s Honors Program Communicative Arts Major
Passionate About Interdisciplinary Studies
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Reeya Verma is a high school student in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Lakeside High School in Georgia. Recently, she has been selected as a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia, which includes a full-ride merit scholarship with foreign travel, networking opportunities, and several other enrichment activities.
Her interest in public speaking sparked as a member and later president of the Toastmasters Gavel Club of Augusta, where she increased member numbers by over 300% and cultivated an environment of growth. Through weekly club meetings and continuously honing her skills in the IB Higher Level Language & Literature course, she was selected to attend the Georgia Governor's Honors Program as a Communicative Arts Major after 3 rigorous rounds of review. Here, she attended unique classes to establish a new way of understanding literary works' relationships to other texts and the world to which it belongs. As a creative and outspoken student, she was even selected to perform a slam poem duet on toxic masculinity at the GHP Coffeehouse. To extend her impact in her community, she successfully organized Augusta’s first TEDxYouth event with the theme "Adapt, Unite, Grow" to bring together fellow activists, thinkers, and doers to embrace and empower others.
Awards and Recognitions:
Toastmasters International Competent Leadership Award
Toastmasters International Competent Communicator Award
1st Place at the Augusta Toastmasters Chapter Speaking Contest
3rd place at Annual IACA Public Speaking Contest
Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award
John's Award of Excellence
Yet another essential part of her as a student is the sciences and how they interact with the humanities. She joins Connections in Narrative Medicine group sessions at Columbia University to study and discuss literary works and media with professors, doctors, patients, and students alike. Moved by differing perspectives on literature, she realized how medicine also relies on the ability to empathize without having lived through that illness's experience. She positively influences others by interning at the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative to create media posts and manage communication, allowing her to recognize and empower neglected patients and communities due to the broken, profit-driven healthcare system.
She recently conducted an impactful research project on Covid-19 and women's health as women are both overrepresented in fields that have close contact with Covid-19 and underrepresented in research. She discovered how different medical conditions can exist between groups and, most importantly, developed a commitment to health equity. Because she believes science without humanities is progress without ethics, Reeya plans to study how larger socio-political power structures can marginalize specific stories and privilege others as an aspiring physician who seeks to embrace everyone's story worth sharing. As a core principle of hers, Reeya encourages to cultivate inquiry of and acknowledge the overlaps in our world, not shy from them.
In her spare time, she enjoys visiting theme parks and finding new vegetarian recipes from around the world to try out. She invests in herself by constantly staying up-to-date on interdisciplinary fields, from reading articles in Orion Magazine to watching lectures at the Radcliffe Institute. However, her most meaningful experiences are having moving conversations on life experiences, perspective shifts, and how we mature.
"I very much look forward to working with eager students and helping them make their learning experience both effective and fun! When given direction and the tools to succeed personally and academically, there is nothing that a student won't be able to accomplish."
- Reeya Verma
IB Student at Lakeside High School