Miss MalaysiaIndian Global 2001 and RTM news presenter Mohanaapriya Sina Raja has always been driven when it comes to academics. Her latest feat is a testament to that. Last week, Mohanaapriya graduated from International University of Malaya-Wales with her PhD, as valedictorian of the university’s 2019 convocation.

She received her scroll and valedictorian award from IUMW Chancellor, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes. Dr Mohanaapriya’s doctoral thesis is titled Facebook Gratifications on Volunteer Satisfaction Levels of Young Volunteers From Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Malaysia.

The former pageant winner revealed that it took her 4 and a half years to complete her doctorate, “I was working on my PhD part time, as I had to balance it with my employment at RTM,”

It wasn’t an easy journey for Dr Mohanaapriya. She candidly speaks about the hardships of pursuing academic excellence, “It is very important for students to have a balance in what they do. I went through a lot of stress, mentally and physically, in my pursuit of the PhD, before I realised that I needed that balance,”

“I had to start taking care of my nutrition and sleep,” she says. “This stress can seriously affect one’s mental health. Slow and steady is definitely the way to go,”

Mohanaapriya won the Miss MalaysiaIndian Global pageant in 2001. She went on to establish her own non governmental organisation, Miss MalaysiaIndian Care Association (MMICare).

She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Miss MalaysiaIndian Global, which raises funds for multiple charitable activities, including the Kapar C3 Upliftment Center for at-risk kids, operated by MMICare.

In her brilliantly worded valedictorian speech, Dr Mohanaapriya said that she is fortunate to have her parents, who were strict but only told her to give everything her best shot.

Dr Mohanaapriya flanked by her parents, Mr Sina Raja and Mrs Santha Kumari.

She went on to say, “Our world doesn’t need you to be the richest, most powerful or most beautiful. In today’s digital world, it is even more crucial that compassion and empathy prevails,”

“In your pursuit of happiness, remember to acknowledge the shoulders you stood on. The people who made your life just a bit easier. You are privileged to have had the opportunities which many don’t,”

“In whatever you choose to with your life path, please include community consciousness and engagement,” Dr Mohanaapriya ended her speech with the sage words of the Miss MalaysiaIndian Global founder, Mrs Pushparani Thilaganathan, “Don’t donate leftovers. Instead, share what’s on your plate,”

“Don’t donate leftovers. Instead, share what’s on your plate,”

Congratulations, Dr Mohanaapriya. You never cease to inspire.

All images are credits of Dr Mohanaapriya. Keep up with her achievements on Instagram here.