Ashley Hatch, CO

Raghavendra Pai says he was pressured into Youth and Government by his debate team. Despite initially seeing it as a waste of time, Oklahoma’s State Conference proved to be a life-changing experience as it made him realize that his ideas were valued.
Pai had a chance to go to CONA his freshman year, but could not because his family was going to India that summer. After he declined the offer, Pai made a promise to State Director Stan Barton that he would go to CONA at least once. Sadly, Barton passed away during Pai’s sophomore year, but he kept his promise and went to CONA at the end of that year.

While Pai loved his first CONA experience, he also explains that it was not perfect. As a great presenter and debater, Pai expected his proposal to go all the way to Plenary, yet his proposal failed after Second Committee. Pai then approached CONA fully open to the experience, achieving his goal to present his proposal in Plenary after his junior year. His senior year, he served as an overall leader for his state delegation and was ultimately chosen to serve the conference as a Presiding Officer.
Pai’s goal at CONA this year is to empower the CONA community and himself, which he urges others to do as well. Pai would like to play a part in delegates walking away with the realization they, too, possess potential.
Pai attends Northwestern University where he studies chemical engineering. He aims to get his Ph.D. before working in the renewable energy field where he hopes to make technology for developing nations and help create policies for that technology. He also would like to open a restaurant called Pai’s Pies and aims to one day release several rap singles.