Life’s Toughest Challenges Bring Success

Focus on Youth, By Phill Potter

Name: Diya Chakravarty           

Age: 16

School: St. Joseph High

Grade: 10

Parents: Debjani Chakravarty, Dipankar Chakravarty, Aditi Chakravarty (Step-mother)

Pet: “My six-year-old Australian Shepherd/Poodle mix may be considered old, but he is as devious as any young child discovering ‘No’, to be a word for the first time.”

Part-time Work: “Among many other jobs, I tutor. This year alone, I’ve helped over seven students between the ages of 4 and 14 with their math, French, and English skills. I absolutely love teaching and connecting with other students; consequently, my tutoring responsibilities occupy my entire week. Although I prefer meeting my “students” face to face in the hopes to encourage engaged, fun learning, I was able to shift my methods to online during Ontario’s phases of lockdown.”

Favourite Subjects:

“Apart from tenth grade’s mandatory subjects, I selected Woodshop and Grade 11 Functions, both of which enabled me to work with students in older grades.

“I genuinely love all knowledge, inquiry, and analysis. Science excites my endless questioning; English requires me to look beyond face value as I seek greater meaning; and Math is equally great. Really, any subject will intrigue me so long as I can continue to wonder. I have always been inclined to challenge explicitly academic courses. Anyone close to me would agree that my choosing of Woodshop as an elective, that too being a choice I purposefully made, was one of the most unexpected, shocking final decisions. Why? Woodshop, being a very hands-on subject, is entirely outside of my comfort zone. Although Covid didn’t allow me to use all the machines, tools, and techniques, I learned such useful skills.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?

“I never enjoyed reading. Never. I truly believed people were ridiculous for intentionally opening a book. Fast forward to my ninth-grade year. It seems I became one of those very people. Reading is incredible; I was simply never reading fantasy romance, my guilty pleasure. I typically leave the profound, thought-provoking literature to school recommendations as I find comfort in lighthearted novels amid my personal, casual life.”

Who is your favourite author?

“Sarah J. Maas and Tahereh Mafi are authors I explored when I first introduced myself to romance. Nevertheless, I continue to quest for diversified genres and authors. On a more contrasting note, school has exposed me to Shakespeare, a style of writing that isn’t particularly preferred by the student public. I’ve come to realize, however, that once one can truly understand his work, it’s nothing short of phenomenal.”

What is your greatest accomplishment?

“My biggest accomplishment ultimately consists of every accomplishment I’ve already had, and every accomplishment I am yet to have. Why? Because yes, I’m proud to have been acknowledged and awarded with full shelves of trophies and medals from all domains of my academic and extra-curricular life, but that recognition is simply tangible proof of my true greatest accomplishment. I employed what I learned from the hardest parts of my life and transformed them into my biggest successes.”

School Activities:

“I like to involve myself in as much as possible. I’ve been part of Student Council and the Volleyball Team since grade seven. I took part in St. Joe’s Cares, which works to fundraise for external charities, and Link Club, which focuses on confronting inner battles, and ending the stigma around mental health.

This year has been quite different, I’m grateful to have been able to contribute to our many school’s Spirit Events (virtual spirit weeks/activity weeks, movie nights, homeroom battles, etc.).

Other Activities/Interests:

“I’ve been dancing since the age of four. I keep close to my Indian heritage through India’s classical dance art form, Odissi. Ever since I can remember, I’ve danced and performed. Fortunately, Covid hasn’t impacted this aspect of my life. As of 2018, I’ve been learning from a teacher residing in India itself. I mastered online classes before I even knew I would have to!

“Public speaking is an enormous part of my life. Unlike most who feared presentations in class, I loved it. I had a knack for orally conveying my thoughts and perspectives, intending to prove my point. I began to attend a public speaking club where I perfected my skills, leading me to later become a facilitator there myself. I’ve taken part in numerous competitions, many of which I’ve succeeded in and won.

“Piano has also been a constant. I’ve been learning since the age of seven. I’ve recently found playing popular, modern-day songs a lot more fascinating.”

Career Goals:

“I have absolutely no idea what I wish to do with my life. Hoping to narrow down my options, I’ve dedicated my future grades to taking several dissimilar courses – everything from Law, Diversified Sciences, Diversified Maths, GPP, and possibly Health Sciences as well. I can only hope I’ll discover the one thing that will guarantee me a life I’ll truly look forward to living.”