Vrajna Patel

Vrajna Patel

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Vincent Massey High School and am now I in my final year of university, completing my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in mathematics and a minor in psychology.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am very proud of my academic achievements, especially receiving the Roland Kitchen Scholarship in Mathematics for the last two years, as this award is related to my field of study. I am also very proud of being a volunteer at the Samaritan House Food Bank. This experience has made me a better person and helped me to appreciate my life and everything I’m blessed with.

Tell me about yourself.

I am originally from India but I grew up in Canada, more specifically Brandon, and I consider it my home. Growing up I was influenced by both the Indian culture as well as the Western culture and so I grew up watching cricket and hockey, eating butter chicken and pizza, celebrating Diwali and Christmas. I love both cultures and I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up any other way. Indian classical dance has also always been a big part of my life growing up. I love performing and representing my culture.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I was always good at math growing up; in fact it was one of my favorite subjects. However it was not my first choice for a major. I started university choosing a biology major and a chemistry minor. After taking various first year math courses at Brandon University as electives, and taking psychology to fulfill my social sciences requirement, you could say I fell in love. I also like to believe that I was born to pursue a math major as my father is an engineer and my mother has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus on financial mathematics.

What is your philosophy in life?

I don’t think I live my life with just one philosophy because as time passes we all grow and change as people, and so does our outlook on life. There are some principles that have stuck with me throughout my life and some I’ve learned along the way.

I have always believed that hard work, determination, and dedication are very important in order to achieve success in anything we strive for. Also a balanced life is very important, as are family and friends.

I have learned to value honesty, kindness, generosity and most importantly forgiveness; I also believe one should never judge others. I believe this is important because everyone’s life takes a different path, and just as others may not know about your own personal battles, everyone else is fighting their own battles which you may know nothing about.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I have applied to the Faculty of Education and I am currently awaiting a response. I hope to successfully apply the knowledge I have gained at Brandon University to educate the generations of tomorrow. I aspire to be a teacher of math or psychology at the high school level one day.

I also hope to be able to travel to India this summer, and hopefully many summers after that, to teach the children that are not able to afford education in the town my parents came from. Although there are still many details to work out, I sincerely hope I will be able to pursue this dream.

Nominator’s Comments

I have known Vrajna for the last 3 years as her instructor and, since September, as her supervisor in the Math Peer Tutoring Hall. Vrajna is an outstanding student who possesses excellent analyzing and problem solving skills; she aims at understanding the concepts, is very dedicated, cooperative, and respectful. As a Peer Tutor, she is capable of explaining ideas in ways that enhance conceptual understanding and personal confidence. She will be a great teacher and an asset to her future students!