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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Senior Spotlight: Raina Singh, a Natural Leader at Niles West

Raina Singh, in the middle, and other club members posing in front of a WHO poster during the club fair.
Raina Singh, in the middle, and other club members posing in front of a WHO poster during the club fair.

As co-president of Model UN and UNICEF,  and a board member of the Computer Science Board and West Helps Others (WHO), senior Raina Singh is sure to leave her mark on Niles West. From debating hypothetical world problems to helping out her community, Singh can do it all.

Sponsor of UNICEF and art teacher Deanna Sortino recalls when Singh first joined UNICEF in freshman year and watched Singh’s incredible journey from club newbie to club president.

“Since freshman year Raina’s voice has become more powerful and she has become one of the most outspoken members in regards to children’s rights. Not only has she taken the time to educate herself on UNICEF topics but she has also educated others,” Sortino said.

UNICEF is a club that is a branch of the UN (United Nations) and is centered on raising money for underprivileged children. Singh has been directly involved with UNICEF’s Trick or Treat event and Water Week. Singh has also helped Sortino find future leaders for UNICEF. Sortino describes Singh as reliable, kind and welcoming, which is exactly what the club needs.

Singh is also a part of West Helps Others (WHO) which is a long-established organization of the school that focuses on getting students into community service. As a board member, Singh prepares informative slide shows, connects organizations and sets up opportunities for students. This year, Singh has connected WHO with Luv Michael, which is a national organization that helps educate, train and employ adults with autism.

As a board member, Singh has encouraged newer members to be more active.

“Raina has helped members be more involved by being enthusiastic about the service opportunities we present in the club. She also helps point out more roles for younger or newer members to take on more responsibilities,” WHO sponsor and counselor Carla Green said.

Singh has used her various clubs to explore all of her interests, from her hobby of coding to her primary passion of helping others. Through her activities, Singh has found the best way to infuse her love of science and devotion to social justice in healthcare.

“It sounds cliche but I like helping people and I’ve also wanted to advocate for people who need it. I’ve settled on the healthcare field because that’s where a lot of reform is needed in terms of social justice. Throughout high school and middle school, I’ve always loved science so I knew I wanted to be in STEM, but Health Careers (a class at Niles West) opened my eyes and showed me how much I loved the medical field. In my future career, I would like to have a mix of both the medical field and advocacy,” Singh said. 

While most people have one or two clubs under their belts when they graduate, even fewer have more than one leadership position. For a select few, juggling home, social, club and school responsibilities is an easy accomplishment. Her secret: organization and knowing your limits.

“I balance my social life, school and clubs by knowing my limits and choosing clubs that don’t conflict with each other because I want to make sure I’m present for all of my clubs. I was also prepared and knew what each leadership position did so I wasn’t going in blind. I know when I need a break, weekends are for [my] social life”, Singh said.

Another one of Singh’s tips is to be active in the school community.

“My advice to underclassmen is to be as involved as possible but to also know your limits. At the end of the day, being involved might be something you enjoy. If you just go through your nine periods you won’t really like school, but if you join clubs about things you’re interested in it might help you enjoy it,” Singh said.

Singh has applied to some colleges in the Chicago area, some Big Ten, and some direct PA (Physician Assistant) programs. We can’t wait to see what’s next in Raina’s future!

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