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Optimism is courage.

Juhi Varshney graduated from the University of Georgia this past spring and is now attending medical school at UCSF. She is our #WCW because of her passion for furthering her education, keeping an open and optimistic mind, and being able to find the fun and joy in hard work.

1. What's your story? What makes you unique?

I’m Juhi! I’m 22 years old. I’ve lived in Georgia as long as I can remember, but I recently moved to the bay area. I enjoy bright colors, good food, and deep conversations. I love learning about others’ cultures and stories and sharing my own right back. A few small things that bring me joy are ripe avocados, sunsets that take me by surprise, selecting the perfect gift for a friend, and good chemistry jokes.

2. What motivates you? I feel like I’ve been blessed with such bounty and that I’m surrounded by constant support.

I really believe in the idea that every day presents a new chance for growth. I’m proud of who I am now, but I know there’s always chances for me to become a better person, friend, daughter, future doctor, advocate, leader, and team player. I also believe that though every day may not be good, there’s still good in every day. Knowing that putting myself out there and working towards my dreams will bring me growth and goodness motivates me to always try my best.

3. Who is a hero of yours?

My parents! They know sacrifice and patience well, and they’ve taught me so much from their own example. Both of them are inordinately kind, hard-working, and fun. They’ve always treated me like an equal and have encouraged me to dream big while supporting and nurturing me every step of the way. They give the best advice and make the best comfort food too. There’s no one big thing that makes them my heroes, just a lifetime of little conversations, gestures, lessons, and love.

4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?

I started college at The University of Georgia in the fall of 2013. Georgia helped foster my love for learning and nurtured my budding independence while helping me develop a sense of confidence and humility that are foundational to who I am now. After majoring in both Biochemistry and Women’s Studies, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in women’s health. The School of Medicine at UCSF took a chance on me, and I moved out west in pursuit of becoming the doctor and person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m almost two months into my first year of medical school, and I couldn’t be more grateful or excited about each new day!

5. What's your future plan? Your goals?

It’s hard to say what I’ll be doing after medical school. I want to have direct patient care, partner with vulnerable communities, work in women’s health and be committed to advocacy but I’m not quite sure what that will look like. I’m learning so much about the possibilities though, and I’m so open to what’s in store. At some point in my career, I would love to return to Georgia to work with some of the underserved communities I got to know before I left. Outside of my professional life, I hope to keep dancing, cooking healthy meals, and making lots of time to invest in my relationships with friends and family.

6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Optimism is courage”- By nature, I’m a happy and hopeful person, but there have been and will continue to be times that try my optimism. These challenges have helped me become more practical and solution-oriented, but it can be hard to always keep searching for the positives. When I struggle, I remind myself that being optimistic and keeping my heart open can be acts of bravery.

7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?

I think wellness and self-care are really important. These practices vary for everyone, but taking a few moments out of the day to reflect on my current mood or the day’s highlights can make a big difference. When I have a little more time, I love going to dance classes, baking dessert, writing, or exploring the city because I always leave these activities feeling refreshed. I make it a priority

to take care of myself so I can be offer my best to the opportunities I want to engage in and the people I want to care for.

8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?

Honestly moving out to SF and starting a brand new adventure has been so cool!

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