Hi, I’m Srishti Gowda, a rising freshman in the Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program at Michigan State! I started this website to serve as a chronicle of the work that I've done, and also to ignite the same spark of social service that I have, in others.
I believe in giving back and serving the community. Not only does it have the obvious benefit of helping others, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences that gives me immense happiness. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Giving back to a cause I care about has been a great way to connect with my passions, and some of my most memorable and character-building experiences have come from volunteering.
I’ve been a Girl Scout for almost ten years now, although I have to admit that I didn’t join Girl Scouts at the age of six purely to help others. I was a shy second grader who was new to the Troy School District, and my teacher suggested for me to join Girl Scouts to make new friends and try new things. But once I got going, the philanthropy that Girl Scouts is centered around began to mean much more to me. Most importantly, I have learned to have the courage, confidence, and character to make this world a better place. Throughout the years, not only have I sold cookies and attended camps, but I’ve also worked on a wide variety of skills by earning badges, going on field trips and doing service projects in my community. Recently, I’ve earned my Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn–only 6% of Girl Scouts earn it.
The leadership aspect of being a Girl Scout has made me venture out and get involved with a cause that’s close to my heart since my eighth-grade teacher needed a kidney transplant. In 2018, I co-founded a new club called Gift8lives at Troy High. I’m also a Gift of Life Michigan certified volunteer (Michigan’s Organ Procurement Organization), where I raise awareness about the shortage of organ donors and encourage people to sign up by participating in my community events.
Music is another passion of mine, so I’ve been playing the violin since first grade. As I moved through middle and high school, I have been a dedicated member of the Troy School District’s respective orchestra programs. Naturally, I extended this love of music towards volunteering, and so I spend my Saturdays playing my violin to patients at a local hospital–something I truly enjoy and cherish. Through the multitude of activities I’ve participated in, I’ve learned that volunteering doesn’t need to be as drastic as a trip for building a house in a third-world country. It can be as simple as playing a few pieces of music for hospital patients to brighten their day. Therefore, it is possible to feel just as accomplished for seemingly humble actions.
However, playing an instrument is not the only music-related activity I participate in! I have been a Bharatnatyam Dancer for eleven years, and I graduated from the Abhinaya School of Dance in 2019 after completing my margam: a course of dances performed in a specific order. Since 2008, I have performed at various recitals and venues, showcasing this age-old form of Indian Classical Dance. During my freshman year of high school, I joined IASA (Indian American Student Association) to explore different forms of indian dance, including South Indian and Bollywood.
As a sophomore, I was appointed as a Health Equity High School Ambassador by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health outreach program. I’ve always been cognizant of the very real health disparities that exist within my community, so my designation as an ambassador is a sign of my dedication to promoting future Health Equity High School Summits. At the Summits, high school students throughout Michigan will be able to study workshop materials, advertising, case competitions, that will teach them the importance of a health equitable community. Through outreach efforts within my school district, I work as a liaison between the Health Equity High School Ambassador Co-Chairs and prospective students.