It wasn't an easy journey for 18-year-old Poorvaprabha Patil and her mother. After being given up by two schools in Ratnagiri district, there was no other option for her but to be home-schooled. Now, a second semester student of Kasturba Medical College, she was the only college student to represent Asia Pacific at the second Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN Headquarters in New York. The four other representatives at the meet were from Brazil, US, Egypt, and Canada. 

The event took place last week, which invited members of the UN and other institutions for a dialogue on the implementation and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since her childhood, Poorva was actively involved in affordable healthcare, climate change, animal conservation, poverty and women empowerment. 

Speaking to the Indian Express, she said, "When in school, I always wondered what the point was in sitting in class and listening to lectures for eight hours. I would get restless. The only two schools in the district had given up on me. The only option left was home schooling."

Experienced of the highs and lows of life, her life took a turning point when she was enrolled ina boarding school for classes 9 and 10. She said, "It was a new atmosphere. There was no one to judge. No one had any preconceptions about me and nobody knew where I came from. In just six months, I was made the president of the students’ council. Then on, there has been no looking back."

Aspiring to get a seat in KMC Manipal, she wrote the entrance exam for the college but was informed that the test was nullified and that she has to bag a seat through the NEET test. Speaking of her battles, she said, "I came here in September. It got very tough to get a seat. I also slipped into depression for a while and had to battle it out."

Her excitement knew no limits when she was informed that she was selected to attend the UN Forum. She says, "I was not even sure if I would make it. It was just one day before leaving that I got my visa." She shares her experience saying, "I interacted with core UN Members, those from UNESCO and the Indian representatives."

Way to go Poorvaprabha! Indeed, sky is the limit for you.