Mona Challa

She raised $2000 for education in India by doing henna

Hometown: Halifax, NS. I’ve been here for the last 15 years. Before that I was in the United States; we started out in Phoenix, Arizona and then we went to California.

Major: BSc, Medical Sciences, second year.

Proudest achievement to date: Two summers ago, I contacted a charity called HEAL, Health and Education for All, which is an Indian orphanage. They built two different campuses, each of which holds 1500 students, and they’re all orphans (parents have low income, they only have one parent, or they truly are orphans). The kids are fostered at the school, everything’s taken care of for them and they get an amazing education. I raised one lakh rupees, which is $2,000, and I did it all by doing henna. I was doing it all by myself, with a bit of help from my parents, especially my mom.

We sent over the funds, but that wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to see what was going on. The summer that just past, I got to go to India to see what was going on – and it was amazing, the campus is beautiful! You know when you’re donating that everything you’re doing is going to a good cause because you can see the improvement right there. All the executive members and administrative people that work there are volunteers because they’re doctors and municipal collectors and donate their time to help out. It was beautiful, just so amazing.

Next big thing she wants to achieve: There are two things I’m doing side-by-side right now. One thing would be to get the right marks to apply for med school, do my MCAT, do really well on that. In my extracurricular life, progress more with HEAL and start a Dalhousie chapter. I’ve talked to a couple of friends, they’re all on board, but it’s just a matter of getting it started.

Favourite pizza flavour: That is by far the hardest question – that and what’s your favourite colour! It would have to be between completely veggie or anything with chicken.

From a friend: “She does a lot of volunteer work and helps out friends while dealing with a heavy course load.” -Michael Klasz

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Sabina Wex

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