The Nepalese international student took time out of a busy exam period to accept the Youth Enterprise trophy at the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
In her homeland, she had applied herself in studies with the help of a charitable scholarship Room To Read between Years 2 to 12.
The international charity provides tuition and school fees for select students in underprivileged situations.
While in Nepal, Rita Karki volunteered as a high-school tutor and helper for Room to Read. She formed an astronomy club that raised money for needy schools, as well as a prose speaking club to improve her and her friends’ debating and public oratory skills.
Nine months ago, she self-funded herself to fly out to Chisholm Institute in Dandenong to start a three-year engineering technology degree.
“The toughest challenge was being alone away from my family,” Rita says. She took up a house-painting job to meet ends meet during the year.
In first semester, she was ranked second out of her 144-student cohort at Chisholm Institute with a 88 per cent score. She impressed teachers with her inquisitiveness and enthusiasm in helping other students. She took a regular seat at the front-of-class for lectures.
“I get excited in coming up with different ideas on how to solve a problem in different ways.”
Rita has plans for higher learning, perhaps a Masters course, when her degree is due for completion at the end of 2020. In five years, she envisions herself working in a large engineering firm working on a project that’s “important for society”.
“Technology is always growing and improving. Engineers contribute to society and make things that make it easier for humans to survive – and I want to be part of that.”