CAS profile


Knowing Riyaa….

“Solitude has its own very strange beauty to it.” ~ Liv Tyler

My name is Riyaa Ruwala and I currently study in Fountainhead. I believe the quote above tells a lot about me. Being an introvert, parties and being around a huge crowd had never been my idea of enjoying but nevertheless I have always loved being one. Relatively many people think me to be a person who is full of the milk of human kindness because I am one of those shrinking violets who face a hard time in expressing themselves, so most of the times people don’t get to know me as I actually am but as someone who I by default portray myself as. People around me are habitual to believe that I am a hardworking and committed person, but those of who get close to me eventually come to know that I am just a lifelong procrastinator. My love for music (singing and drums which I recently started learning), books and movies always remind me who the real “RIYAA” is. Listening music, reading books and watching movies are way out for me, through which I can effortlessly escape from the external world and walk in a world of mine, where I can easily express myself, where situational/conditions are always in my favor allowing me to foster my thoughts and ideas. But I have undying wish to evolve myself as a person who can confidently carry herself into a huge crowd, express herself and her thoughts/ideas freely and easily.

Family and friends( the few that I have) are things that I cherish the most and is so grateful about because no matter what they have always been by my side and in addition to this I always find times when I can help them out to show them how important they are to mean and also because of the immense  satisfaction I receive. I have always thought life as long, unexpected, surprising and a wild journey and walking through the different phases of life with those who are positive, adventurous and enthusiast make every moment memorable.

Frankly, I have had only one dream, to get a job where I can just sit and watch movies and TV shows. However, when I talk about my current aim, it is to get into a reputed university so that I can fulfill the expectations and dream that my parents have had for a very long time. I cannot assure whether I will be successful in the profession I choose but I will always strive hard to be responsible and try bringing a difference in lives of the unprivileged(no matter how small or big).

“Make your best mistakes” were words taken from a song, which might seem very childish but has constantly motivated me to sometimes take a leap of faith or going with my craziest ideas (which has some or the other way always helped me to live my life to the fullest). The most valuable thing people in my life have taught me is to “never let go of my identity” because that what make me one of a kind.

Go Green..! (CAS project)

Like any other, person I used to read about environmental issues in newspapers or the internet, but rarely remember myself putting efforts for any cause. However, during my IB Diploma years, while studying ESS (Environmental Systems and Societies), I learned that small steps locally by individuals can sooner or later have a significant contribution to solving the larger problem. So, me and 2 other friends of mine, together we decided to undertake our share of responsibility towards the environment, we decided to build a mini nursery in our school. Also during the initial stages of our project we also found out that around 3 lakh trees are cut every year in the state of Gujarat (where we live), surprisingly it didn’t come as shock to me because somewhere I knew what kind and how substantial damage we were doing to the environment from a very long time. However, it made my commitment to my project more firm and unwavering. My project also gave me chance to enhance and test my time management and leadership skills and chance to learn skills i.e. gardening.

Before, planning we already had decided that we did not want our project to just a mere activity to address the issue of deforestation but also wanted it to be a token of appreciation for our school for all it had done for me in the past two years after I joined fountainhead and of course the environment, and hence we managed to produce a small but a quality nursery, with all the best resources we could arrange.

In order to achieve the above goal, we initially worked with an experienced plant nursery worker and environmentalist. Also, before beginning the execution, there were a lot of things that needed to place like, what kind of plants to grown, arranging resources for gardening, volunteers, a patch of land etc, which required a lot of research and persuasion. I had to continuously be in touch with the environmentalist for guidance as we were, just freshers in this field (:P) collaborating with us in this project.

All seemed set to go and we were ready to execute our project after a rigorous planning for one month. But suddenly things started to fall apart, we didn’t realize what kept coming and hitting us. Our half of the seeds were misplaced, the patch the three of us cleared to plant on (which took us more than 3 three hours) was found to be inappropriate for gardening and lastly the environmentalist we were collaborating with and replying heavily on bailed out on us (we were hardly able to communicate with him). Subsequently, with all these problems showing one after the other our execution was delayed by two more months as soon, volunteers started bailing out as well as exams were soon approaching and considering it took us two weeks to arrange seeds and clear the patch and persuade volunteers we had almost given up on this project.

However, soon after the exams, even though we wanted a quality project; we realised that to do that we did not require a top-notch environmentalist, we started again with the project now working with our school gardener, we faced challenges to arrange seeds and bags to grow plants in without the environmentalist who was earlier arranging everything for us, but with our commitment and little more help from our school teachers we were able to arrange all the necessary resources (however did not compromise with the quality). Also, without any volunteers we knew it would be difficult to execute the project but not impossible so again started to call out for volunteers, initially when we started our execution nobody turned on early mornings, but we didn’t lose our hopes and started the project single-handedly, first day was tiring as hell as only three of us were trying to all the different jobs on our own. But as we did we realized I was more hardworking, responsible, determined and patient than I thought. Overall our quick and effective thinking and processing skills helped us come up with an alternative plan with all the flaws in our first one. Also this project helped me personally realize that how I needed to enhance my management skills after reflecting on the mistakes that we made during our planning process especially taught me the importance of commitment, like if broken it can mess things up for us badly (like we gave our volunteers a time period for the execution with all the problems we faced we forgot to keep them in loop and broke our commitment leading to no volunteers in the end).

After a while, few volunteers started showing up, not regularly but it did help us a lot and accelerated our project significantly. Moreover, working collaboratively also helped me gain motivation which I lacked previously. Also when own me and two of my friends were working alone but with three of together, it was a great support in tough times, which helped me mentally stabilize and think rationally in difficult circumstances. This project helped me learned gardening skills, how to form a contingency plan, how to persuade other and enhance my management skills.
Lastly, the important return this project gave me was: a sense of satisfaction and achievement.


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CAS Plan


Activity Component Duration Learning Outcomes
A day spent with Special children Creativity, Service 12-12-16 to 12-12-16 2,4,6,7
Plantation activity Service, action 24-07-16 to 24-07-16 2,5,6
Trip to Naggar Action 12-26-15 to 1-2-16 1,2,5,6
Anchoring for RWP Creativity, service 4-3-16 to 4-3-16 1,2,4,5,6
WPMUN Creativity 13-09-16 to 14-09-16 1,2,4,5,6
Zumba Fest Creativity, service, action 20-12-16 to 20-12-16 1,2,3,4,5,7
Surat Student Parliament Creativity 13-11-16 to 13-11-16 1,4,5,6
Monologue Competition Creativity 2-08-17 to 2-08-17 1,2,4
Chairing IMUN Creativity, service 2-2-17 to 2-2-17 2,3,5,6

IMUN Chairing

This was my first time chairing a MUN instead of being a delegate. This was much different than my other MUN experiences because I learned how a committee is handled and judged. I was invited to chair the Inferno Model United Nation to chair the United Nations Security Council. It was also great to understand and take in the perspectives of all the delegates. The learning outcomes that I achieved are as follows:

L2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills: As a delegate, I only had to research about the particular country assigned to me but as the chair, I had to learn about every country and have a neutral point of view.

L3- initiate and plan a CAS experience: For this event I was a part of the Executive board which automatically made me responsible to make sure that the event was smooth and successful. I tried my best to make sure that all the delegates get a good experience and learn about the world.

L5- Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively: A lot of the delegates were new and were participating for the first time so as the chair I had the take the responsibility to help them out to progress the committee.

L6-engagement with issues of global significance: The agenda of the committee was to discuss situations that the actual United Nations deal with and propose solutions for the same.



Surat Student Parliament

The Surat student parliament was an initiative taken by a group of college students from Ahmedabad. This was a simulation of how the  Indian parliament works to give a student an opportunity to understand its functions and importance. I was a part of the media managers and my responsibility was to cover the happenings of the event.The learning outcomes that I achieved are:

L1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth: I found out that noting down the information as to what was happening during the event was my strong suite, however, I realized that I could improve my writing skills to clearly express what I learned.

L4-commitment to and perseverance: I sat through all the committee sessions, listening to them carefully and making sure to add every important detail of the occurrences.

L5-. Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively: I worked with all the other media managers to identify a story and effectively present it.

L6-engagement with issues of global significance: We wrote about current issues going around the country.



Monologue Competition

This was an inter-house monologue competition that our school organized. I participated in the competition and played the character of “Jordan Belfort”. For this monologue, I won first place. I gained a lot of self-confidence through this experience and enhanced my acting and performing skills. The learning outcomes that I achieved are:

L1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth. I did this by practicing in the mirror multiple times to identify my drawback and tried to improve them.

L2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills. I understood that taking a script from a movie may not be as effective as other pieces but I took up the challenge because I really thought that I could portray the character efficiently

L4: Commitment to and perseverance. I took the initiative to find my own script, edit it according to the rules of the competition, learn it effectively and practice it until the day of the competition.


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CAS Project: Nursery

Two of my friends and I decided to work on a CAS project together due to our similar thoughts and opinions. At the beginning, it was difficult to narrow down our ideas however there was one thing which remained the same that we wanted to do something to benefit our society or something which could help us take a step towards sustaining our environment and the beauty of nature. It was then decided that we would build a small nursery in our school and also plant some education related plants. This idea was something which, no one had ever done in the school, therefore, we thought it might be good to start with something like this.

As we were three of us, it was easy to divide work in the planning part. We collaborated with one of Nature Club’s member who helped and guided us along. At, the beginning it was difficult to figure out things but I actually believed that the plan will work. However, as we kept on planning, we realized that the mystery is solving and the project might turn out to be a success. As it was a plantation activity is all under the category of Activity and Service.

The planning stage was the most difficult part of the whole CAS project experiences. We had to sit and brainstorm about the perfect place, the suitable plants to grow, the soil that needed to be orders, the bags, how will manage to get more volunteers and after we leave the school, who will take care of the nursery. So, what we did has we distributed the work and did come early to school, which was quite challenging considering the ongoing submission that we had. The work of coordinating with the nature club guy, selection the seeds, finding the proper place, sending out the form and informing people about the project was all distributed amongst the three of us, which made our life easy. There were instances where there was a lot of miscommunication however, it got sorted after a while.

After making a foolproof plan, was when the actual problems started. It was informed to us that the soil needed will not be available for a long time, some of the plant seeds that needed to be planted were not available and many such things were just not falling into place. All the three of us got worked up and the project had actually stopped for 2 months. After this span of time, we realized that the weather conditions might not be appropriate and thus, decided to start working on the project again.

The place that was initially decided was changed to a different place, there was less soil available, and only limited seeds were there. Also, due to the shift in the project work many volunteers denied to be there and we were left with just 4 to 5 volunteers. It was hard to manage with 4-5 volunteers and therefore, we had to come early to school daily to complete our work. There were times where we felt like leaving the project and do something else, however, our aim to do something valuable kept us going and we did complete the project.

The project didn’t turn out to be as expected however, we gave our best with the resources that were available to us. Also, we made sure not to harm any other living organisms (plants, etc.) while planting and also, used resources appropriately. There were in fact no or just a little waste accumulated. As there are places that are deforested, it felt good to actually plant some plants and contribute some positive factor to the society. This was a small scale project (only in the school), however, later in my life, I would like to continue doing good work like this.

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Personal Profile

img_4652I’m Vanshika, a 17-year-old, doing the IB diploma program from Surat, India. Doing IB gave me a variety of perspectives on life and certain aspects that I needed to fix. I love playing football and the guitar. Along with those, I also thoroughly enjoy participating in MUNs and debates. I enjoy traveling to new places and learning about new cultures. I am currently learning Spanish and I wish to become proficient in it since I love learning new languages and I desire to become a multi-linguist. I believe that we should have the right to do whatever we desire to do in life but before that, we must fulfill our duties to our families, peers, and the society. Talking about society, it brings us to the issues that it faces and poverty in my country is an issue that requires utmost attention. I want to work hard and become an economist to help and cater to solutions to eradicate poverty. Space and everything about it really intrigue me and has inspired me to take physics as a subject. Thus I would love to learn more about time travel and overlaps. I have also always wanted to skydive but I have never received the opportunity to do so. Given the chance I would love to spend a week, stranded alone on an island since I believe that it’s the best way to learn about yourself and knowing yourself is essential to being human.


The IB Diploma CAS program has enormously changed my outlook on what impact the smallest of activities could have on the people around me. When I think of the CAS activities that I have performed, the first thing, that comes to my mind is an intra-city cycling even that I, along with 2 classmates, had organized named ‘Ride With Pride’. We brought together the citizens of Surat to work towards a healthier lifestyle and promote cycling as a recreative and health beneficial sport. Calling together such a large number of people in the city to join us at a given location, date and time, coming up with creative marketing ideas to convince them to take a break from their schedules, to join us to serve the environment that we live in and promote cycling as a part of that action was a great feat and its accomplishment felt impressive. CAS has helped me develop a socio-cultural understanding and my duty towards the environment that I live in. It has also helped me enhance a certain skill set by constantly encouraging me to think and work creatively and perform actions that would benefit me along with my surroundings. Creativity as a component has inspired me to be more open-minded and welcoming to ideas and theories and the application of these has also made me approach some ideas with an uncertainty of their result and yet help me come up with innovative ways to go about daily things with to maximize that good that comes out of it. Action as the second component helped me enhance my communicative skills with MUN’s and debates and thus has helped me widen my horizons as a thinker and an inquirer. It has also taught me how to be balanced in everything I do since I was presented with many situations that required a decision to be made. I might not have made those decisions right at that point but at a later stage, when I sat to reflect on how the issue was handled, I believe that I learned a balanced way of evaluating situations which will help me later. And it was this thought that inspired my service activities. I began to realize the consequences of certain actions on the others in the society, eg. dumping garbage on the road. It made me express compassion for the less fortunate, respect for the ones that help us and a certain sense of responsibility towards the environment. Overall, CAS helped me become more knowledgeable and understanding about me and my surroundings. Through these activities, I learned that certain selfish actions might benefit us in the short-term but in the long-term, being someone who is empathetic and provides for the greater good is beneficial for everyone and requires little effort. I learned that leadership is an essential characteristic and making use of that ability helped me gain a greater insight on teamwork. I conditioned myself to always help someone in need as service is the greatest cause. Over the time, various CAS activities like playing football, participating in MUN’s as the Executive Board and many others helped me help people learn and share my skills with them. This way, I learned how to perform my duties better and they gained knowledge. However, there were always certain setbacks that required to be dealt with, with a calm mind. When the planning process in an event I was organizing hit a snitch, I asked a colleague to help me out with a dealer who threatened to not provide us with the supplies we needed. The full payment had been made and hence, this colleague negotiated with the dealer on my behalf to help continue the event. This effort on his part contributed greatly to the event and both of us learned a great deal about teamwork and efforts through this. The learning outcome regarding undertaking new challenges seemed to be one of the most difficult to achieve since it always involves unfamiliar territory and dealing with new things and people. Being an extrovert, I did not face many difficulties in dealing with new people, however, exploring something that I did not excel at provided a bit of a struggle. However, in the end, I was successfully able to perform on the stage without faltering or making any mistakes. My overall exquisite experience with CAS makes me want more people to be introduced to it and provide a helping hand in development, evolution, and conservation of our earth.


Activity Components (C/A/S) Duration & Start/End dates Learning outcomes
Football camps Activity 10/7/2015 to 15/7/2015 L1, L5, L7
Plantation Service 18/7/2015 to 18/7/2015 L2, L5, L6
Joining gym Activity 3/8/2015 to 29/2/2016 L1, L3, L4
Literature fest (Anagrams) Creativity 23/8/2015 to 23/8/2015 L1, L5, L7
Literature Fest (Ads to add up) Creativity 24/8/2015 to 24/8/2015 L4, L5
Kabbadi tournament Activity and Service 6/8/2016 to 6/9/2016 L2, L3, L4, L5, L6, L7
Book club Creativity 16/7/2015 to 22/3/2016 L1, L4, L7
Cas trip to Naggar Service and Creativity 27/12/2015 to 3/1/2016 L1, L2, L5, L7
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