By Garrison Murphy ’15
Not every student starts a club dedicated to building schools for children in the developing world, or considers researching treatment for brain cancer their main extracurricular endeavor.
The Roundup selected Raj Vatsa ’14 for qualities such as those that allowed him to create the build On club and work after school at the Barrow Neurological Institute.
“He’s just a very happy and cheerful person … but he’s also one of the smartest people at Brophy,” said Dieter Mohty ’15, who competed on the Quiz Bowl team with Vatsa. “He just is doing so many things, he’s all over Brophy.”
In his sophomore year Vatsa founded the Brophy chapter of the buildOn club, whose members volunteer at shelters on a monthly basis and fundraise money to build schools in impoverished areas. During the summer of Vatsa’s sophomore year he and eight other members of his club traveled to Nicaragua with the intention of helping to build a school
“We focus on breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectation in the community and around the world through service and education,” Vatsa said.
Vatsa also said he finds inspiration in his faith and cited his religious background as one of the main reasons he founded the club.
Off campus, Vatsa said he spends time working in the Neuro-Oncology lab in Barrow Neurological Institute when not playing on Varsity Tennis or participating in Quiz Bowl.
“For a long time now he has been working at BNI at St. Joseph’s Hospital … he definitely enjoys it” said Andrew Salmon ’14 who Vatsa cited as one of his closest friends. “He always said he wanted to work in a lab.”
Vatsa said he has decided to attend Harvard College in the fall and hopes to pursue medical school thereafter.
“I really want to focus on changes we can implement around the world especially in developing countries to make sure these under served communities get the medical attention and healthcare opportunities they need,” Vatsa said. “My dream has always been to go to the developing world on programs like “Doctors Without Borders” and give medical care to these communities … and that’s really something Brophy has really helped me understand.”
‘Man of the Year’ Runner-up Jack Herstam ’14