YSI Presents: Team 3

When we were down to the 21, selecting the last participants amongst the 8’650 people who applied to the YSI Global program, we saw three people matched up.  Three people with a burning passion for the Sustainable Development goal number three – Good Health and Well Being. So we thought: “Should we call this group team 3?”

Therefore you might understand our excitement to see what this group will be able to accomplish together with this strong alignment around one specific goal.

We are now asking us a new question: what do we get when we combine the forces of a clinical research analyst with knowledge about cell and molecular biology, neuroscience and psychology; together with a medicine student who graduated summa cum laude from pharmacy; and a computer engineer who also understand electronics and prototyping?

Ishita Aggarwal – Clinical Research Analyst and champion for women

Toronto, Canada.

Ishita Aggarwal

What blew us away in Ishita’s application was the impact which she had already had, bringing together women in science and engineering in conferences over several years as well as working to address sustainable development goal 3 and five providing knowledge, tools and resources to low-income women for maternal healthcare.

Now in 2018 she was selected for the Queen’s Young Leader 2018 for Canada and will receive an award from her majesty the Queen. She is also running an online magazine called Behind-the-Scenes, which anonymously shares stories of gender prejudice and discrimination, as well as Mom’s the Word, a community organization that offers free prenatal care workshops for low-income women.

Her core values are: authenticity, compassion, kindness, contribution, good humour and happiness.

What have you done well before the YSI program and what are your best skills?
I am interested in Health Equity, Gender Equality, and Social Sustainability. Consequently, I have served as Access and Equity Student Blogger at U of T Student Life Blog, Founding Member of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) National Conference, and Research Associate at International Women’s Rights Project. Currently, I am Founder of BEHIND-THE-SCENES Magazine (BTSM) and MOM’S THE WORD (MTW). These roles have allowed me to develop a strong commitment to values, ethics, and purpose, take a creative approach to my work, nurture excellent planning, organizational, and teamwork skills, and become comfortable with the unknown.

What do you hope to achieve through this opportunity?
I hope to build a startup that I am passionate about, has real-world impact, and is financially sustainable. I also want to form lifelong partnerships and friendships!

What is your biggest drive (Drive: An innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need).
I want to live a meaningful life. The best way for me to do so is if I spend my time giving back to my community, creating value, and constantly seeking personal development and growth.  


Keaton Harris – Medicine and pharmacy transforming healthcare

Cape Town, South Africa

Keaton Harris


What have you done well before the YSI program and what are your best skills?
I am currently studying Medicine (MBChB) at Stellenbosch University, having previously obtained my BPharm (Hons) degree from the University of the Western Cape. Before the YSI program I was a scholar that believed that he could, one day, make a difference in the world. I wake up every morning still in disbelief that my opportunity to make a lasting change in the world has come so soon! I have further been volunteering as part of Maties Gemeenskap Diens (MGD) which is a voluntary platform of my University where we go into communities and diagnostically test them to catch conditions before they become too severe. My best skills include being resourceful, determined/driven, motivated, trustworthy and technologically inclined.

What do you hope to achieve through this opportunity?
Through being given this opportunity I hope to achieve not only a sense of personal growth but also allow my knowledge to be learned by others as well as vice versa. This platform is literally the crème de la crème from young innovationists worldwide. Therefore, being able to create long lasting friendships with such talented individuals, can only be advantageous as we all progress through our lives. I want to challenge myself to climb out of the bubble specific to my field of study and immerse myself within the differing study fields that are represented by the other participants of YSI 2018.

What is your biggest drive (Drive: An innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need).
My biggest drive is probably my willingness to create a foundation of success and dream attainment for those that currently are unable to do so. Having travelled through informal settlements throughout the Western Cape, you witness the struggles that are felt by communities, you see them suffering due to lack of access to healthcare and drinkable water. The most heart-breaking is seeing those who are intellectually gifted needing to do jobs that do not link with their potential because they need to look after their families. To be able to utilize my knowledge as well as the passion I have to creating a lasting difference in the lives of others, is what is my main drive is.

I look forward to learning from everyone within this program and to utilize the platform we have been given to collectively tackle the SDGs of the world and create a world where growth, development, healthcare access and drinkable water need no longer be a stressor in the lives of the population.

Marcia Santos – Biomedical informatics with a flair of electronics

Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil


Could you please tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My name is Márcia Cunha dos Santos and I’m 21 years old. I born, grow and live in the extreme south of Brazil in a state called Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil is really large and every state has a singular culture. Rio Grande do Sul culture is a blend of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Spanish culture. A curiosity about my city, São Leopoldo, is that it was “founded” by the first Germans who arrived in Brazil in the 19th century. I have several hobbies but among them, I can mention watch series, dance, rollerblade, read about gastronomy and also cook (I hope to cook one day for you!).

What have you done well before the YSI program and what are your best skills?
My High School was a little bit different. It was 5 year studying normal high school subjects and also electronics. Throughout my high school, I got involved with scientific research and it changed my life. Scientific research has expanded my horizons, made me believe in myself, and showed me how passionate I am for knowledge and for challenging myself. My most striking research during this time was the Venus – Vascular Locator, a device that demonstrates veins not seen with naked eyes through imaging. I am currently a computer engineering student, I am researching biomedical informatics, and also a High School Scientist mentor. Among my technical skills are working with electronics in general (electronic circuits, microprocessors, FPGA, sensors, etc). I have a good C programming base, but I also know a little bit of C ++ and Java (currently learning Python). With non-technical skills, I really like helping people with creative processes.

What is your biggest drive (Drive: An innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need).
In 2016 while I was attending several science fairs in Brazil, Mexico and US my father was hospitalized in a UTI. He had his leg amputated, a situation caused by a lack of a correct diagnosis. At the same time that I was inspired by young scientists, a Brazilian private hospital could not meet the demand of its patients. This made me very reflective, especially regarding the situation of public institutions. Since then, I have only increased my willingness to positively impact the area of health, being able to bring appropriate treatments and diagnoses to all people. And that’s why I signed up for YSI: learning a lot about sustainable development, inspiring myself with amazing people, joining with people who have ideals similar to mine and acting to impact. I expect 5 months from now, to be with you in Oslo telling how hard the program was, but how much it made me, my dreams, and my actions grow.

We will do everything we can to facilitate team 3 and see them succeed. If you have anything you would like to contribute to this team feel free to contact us or team 3 and speak your mind.

Want to read more about our other teams? Then click one of these links:

Team 1: https://ysiglobal.blog/team-1-ysi-global-2018/
Team 6: https://ysiglobal.blog/ysi-presents-team-6/
Team 4: https://ysiglobal.blog/impact-startups-team4/



Leave a Reply