Local high school graduate Ritiga Ravichandran received $1,000 courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce for her idea to market an non-organic and non-GMO snack food.
Senior Ritiga Ravichandran graduated from Dr. Phillips High School this spring with top honors, a 4.4 GPA and as winner of the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce 2019 Youth Scholarship Award, including a prize of $1,000.
“(Ravichandran) was very well-spoken, her presentation was nicely done … she seemed to have a lot of tenacity,” said Maggie Rosario, president of the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce and a committee member for the 2019 Youth Scholarship Award selection.
Ravichandran earned the scholarship last month thanks to her own entrepreneur project called “The Vada Vicinity.” She created an organic, non-GMO snack, which is based off the Indian snack of Vada, according to a press release. She pitched her idea along with marketing and sales strategies.
The selection process consisted of three steps: a written description, an idea pitch and a final presentation to the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce Selection Committee.
The scholarship program has been in effect for three years, but this was the first year that the Youth Scholarship Award was awarded. Not many students applied and followed through the three steps before this year, Rosario said. Five students applied for the 2019 scholarship and the selection committee of eight people narrowed it down to three people for the final judgement, ultimately choosing Ravichandran.
Ravichandran was a recent graduate of the Center for International Studies Program at DPHS. She was vice president of her school’s National Honor Society in her junior and senior year, and plans to attend a four-year university to pursue a business degree in finance and marketing, according to a press release.
The selection panel, made up of professionals and business owners in the Dr. Phillips area, noted Ravichandran’s communication skills, adding she is “an intelligent woman with a bright future ahead.”
While this was the first year a winner was found, Roasrio said that they hope to continue this scholarship with even more participation next year. All graduating senior high school students interested in participating in next year’s Youth Scholarship Award can contact the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce at (407) 749-0333 or Maggie Roasrio at [email protected].