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High school senior helps mentor underserved communities

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December 04, 2012
MILTON, Ga. – Milton High School senior Shaun Verma isn't your average student.

In 2009, Verma founded MDJunior, a nonprofit leadership society focused on inspiring selfless service through mentorship.

MDJunior focuses on using professionals in the medical and health fields to mentor middle and high school students.

"I started a pilot program in my middle school, and today we've established over 20 chapters in schools across the world, including the U.S. and Honduras, and we have positively impacted over 600 students so far," Verma said.

MDJunior continues to add more chapters in inner cities and undeserved communities across America.

"Our first college chapters at Emory and Vanderbilt universities will open this winter," Verma said.

The organization concentrates on three pillars of success: knowledge, skills and attitude. The after-school program gives mentors a chance to speak to mentees for about an hour.

Each mentor focuses their talk around the organization's three pillars of success, discussing what they do while providing real-world information to the students.

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YouTube: MDJuniorSociety
"These sessions where the mentors share their vision and journey have been very inspirational," Verma said.

Verma has organized several service trips, designed to focus on the skills and attitude pillars of his program.

Some nonprofit healthcare organization work includes Medshare, Embraced, Children's Hospital of Atlanta and American Red Cross.

"I'm excited to announce that in 2012, I launched a program for all high-schoolers across America to join a Global Medical-Mentor Mission to Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere," he said.

To date, Verma has completed two organized missions to Honduras.

Verma isn't all work and no play.

The captain of the Milton debate team enjoys swimming and playing tennis in his free time.

"My family also does a lot to give back to the community," he said.

The senior plans to attend Emory University in the fall.

"I've been looking more into the field of medicine and public health," he said. "Because of my research in healthcare policy through debate and the community involvement I have through MDJunior, I've gotten to see the impact public health initiatives can have, and how beneficial it can be to get to the root cause of a problem."

Dr. Neil Shuman, associate professor of medicine at Emory University is a consultant for MDJunior and enjoys working with Verma.

"Shaun is an amazing humanitarian," Shuman said. "His leadership with MDJunior is a wonderful addition to the world. His effort to inspire future docs and help those in need is truly incredible."

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