Change starts at home

Thursday, June 13, 2013

For as long as she can remember, Radha Joseph's parents counseled her that "change starts at home." This simple philosophy influenced many of her decisions during the past few years, and taken her down roads she would never have imagined.

A hometown girl, Joseph will be graduating from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry's Scholar's Electives BMSc program on June 13. She will be doing so after receiving the Scholar's Electives and Western Scholar's Scholarship for three consecutive years, pursuing unique research courses, putting in long hours in the lab, and being accepted into Schulich Medicine. She achieved all of this while taking her parents' philosophy to heart and helping to bring positive change to the community she loves through volunteer work at Arts for All Kids and Habitat for Humanity.

Although she pursued a science education, Joseph has a passion for the arts. She started playing the piano at age five and violin at age six. For years, she dedicated herself to practicing, achieving success with her exams and searching for the next musical challenge. Her love of music was further deepened when she started to volunteer with children at Arts for All Kids. Volunteering helped her "understand the true power of music, its ability to heal and inspire confidence, self-esteem and trust." And seeing her students return as volunteers themselves years later taught her "the impact of sharing with others is boundless."

When reflecting on her achievements of her undergrad, Joseph's feels the most rewarding experience was her work with Habitat for Humanity UWO and role as Chair of the Habitat London Youth Project. Initially, Joseph felt out of her comfort zone in this role. But she was inspired and motivated by those around her and quickly realized when you work with people who have a passion for community development, there is very little that can't be achieved.

As a result, in each of the past three years, she had the opportunity to work alongside a local family and fellow volunteers to create a home. "Seeing the progress on a build site from start to finish, and sharing in the family's joy at receiving at home makes for an incredibly moving experience."

Four years ago, when Joseph was accepted to Western University - she knew it was the best place for her to pursue her education. Not only did Western and the BMSc program have an incredible reputation, staying in London allowed her to benefit from the ongoing support of her family. That decision to stay at home in London - changed her life. And it led her to enrich and change the lives of people across the community.

Another major change is in store for Joseph as she prepares to begin at Schulich Medicine in the fall. "Becoming a physician is a long-standing dream of mine. I'm choosing to continue my education at Western because I feel this is where I'll receive the best quality education." It also give Joseph the chance to continue her community work at home with organizations such as Arts for Kids, Habitat for Humanity and the Thames Valley Children's Centre.