SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --Top scholar Varsha Sathappan has a love and respect for her Indian heritage, a passion for public speaking and a desire to make a difference in the world as an advocate for social justice and health care, especially for women.
"I constructed a woman's ward for an outpatient clinic in a rural village in south India where my family's originally from," Varsha said.
The recent graduate from Notre Dame High School in San Jose is a long-time member of the Girl Scouts of Northern California. She's also served on its teen board the last two years. Varsha earned a Gold Award, the organization's highest honor for creating a project that leaves lasting impact on a community.
"They use my clinic for medical procedures and people who are overworked in the fields and for deliveries, but in the night it's also being used by some women as a refuge for maybe their husbands were abusive that night," Varsha said. "That just confirmed to me how transformative the power of medicine can be when you bring it to people who have never had access before."
Varsha will be involved in a combined medical program at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston majoring in psychology.
"I really feel like my perspective has been shaped by my school as well as Girl Scouts for me to realize what I can devote my life's energy to combining medicine with social justice," she said.
This is the ninth year for ABC7's Top Scholars program, where ABC7 gives recognition to seven outstanding students, each of whom receives a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education. Watch Sunday, July 6 at 10 a.m. to learn more about all of our Top Scholars!