Interview Spotlight With Ramita Anand

Ramita Anand, trained teacher (with a Science and Special Educational Needs specialisation), mother, author, and podcast host who has designed ElevateRA mentoring services, aimed to empower and work with pre-adolescents on crucial life skills. Today’s evolving modern world is leaving many young folks facing challenges that, hinder self-worth, academic and social progress. Ramita is on a mission to employ preventative educational tools to set up girls with a strong foundation. 

Passionate about helping young pupil’s wellbeing, ElevateRA originated to work in conjunction with the conventional approaches in education, to equip young folks with the skills of confidence, empathy, resilience, emotional intelligence, kindness, that will serve them throughout their lives.

Ramita has 15 years of international teaching experience and has been the Department Head of Learning support and enrichment at leading academic schools in the UK. She is the mother of a teen girl and boy who has his own learning challenges. Her experience in education and parenting have given her a unique platform from which she has created mentoring services for young girls. 

Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, I spent my first few years of teaching as part of a bigger adventure by moving to London and working in inner-city schools. I met my husband in London and since then we have been lucky enough to have also lived in New York and Singapore with our teenage children and pup, Atticus.

When I am not teaching, I am very fond of spending time with my family and friends over food and music – especially ‘90’s R&B. I enjoy cooking, biking, yoga, and discovering new places for exploration. I love to read a good book, watch a drama series (Succession, White Lotus), and always up for a good ROM Com. 

Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?

I trained as a Middle Years teacher in Vancouver, Canada and was recruited to teach in London, where I worked in primary education and then moved onto working with pupils with learning differences. I took some time to do a master’s between teaching and before having a family of my own as I have always been interested in science and healthcare. I moved to New York, where I began teaching but then was offered a career in pharma communications. I did this for a short while before having my own kids and once my youngest was in school, I began teaching part time again. I did this until 2019 and then began my own venture in 2020 as part of our family move to Singapore. I have been growing and running Elevate.RA since then, the platform now includes seven series of podcast episodes, several published articles, my own book, and a school’s programme alongside the one to one and small group mentorship programme. Each phase, job, school, and city I have lived and worked in have been an instrumental steppingstone in shaping the career path I have had. It’s been incredibly rewarding with important learning experiences. 

My experiences in my tween and adolescent years were instrumental in shaping the adult I have become. When I was 13 years old, I lost my mother to cancer. This was undoubtedly the darkest episode of my life. My teenage years were spent without my mother, who had been my role model, best friend, and teacher. I was also charged with caring for my two younger siblings while my father worked, which was not always an easy task, to say the least. 

I firmly believe that it was the confidence and self-belief instilled in me by my mother that helped me pursue my own passion for education. Because of my own experience, I truly understand how tricky the teen years can be and how it feels to be the odd one out. I was often the only girl who did not have her mother at matches or recitals, and that loneliness is still familiar to me. I have a great deal of empathy for young girls who face challenges and must grow up along a path that may look different from their peers. No girl should feel alone on this journey. 

Working in education and pursuing a career to help others in their most vulnerable times has been my way of addressing these personal challenges. As a young teen who struggled with loss, as a teacher trained in additional needs as well as middle and primary school education in diverse schools, and as the mother of a neurodiverse child, I draw on my own story to support parents, educators, and other professionals working with girls in early adolescence. 

Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?

Since starting my business, ElevateRA has grown and evolved. I began in the pandemic teaching one-on-one sessions over zoom, with one session dedicated to each superpower. Over time, as the world opened up more, I began conducting my lessons in person. I always aimed to get ElevateRA into schools and in 2022 I created the “Elevate Scheme of work” which has now been used during PSHE and Wellbeing lessons in schools throughout the UK and Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to further spread my work into schools by giving talks, both in person and over Zoom, and running workshops for the students. Working alongside schools has been extremely rewarding and I hope to continue this in the future as well as possibly looking at ways to modify the Elevate program in a way which can benefit boys as well. 

Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?

My biggest mentor has been my mother, who played a pivotal role in shaping the person I am today. Her optimism and love for life has left such a profound impact on the way I want to show up every day in all the different roles I have. I also value the time and support provided to me by a colleague while I was re-training to become a special educational needs specialist teacher. I will always value her incredible ability to lift and pump me up – something I hope I am able to pass on to others I work with. 

What outlets do use for marketing?

Mostly Instagram and LinkedIn. Going into creating Elevate, I was not fully aware how significant a role social media plays in having your own business. Over the last three years I’ve been learning how to use social media to help spread awareness. 

What or Who has inspired you most recently?

My students! My students teach me new things every day. The curiosity, tenacity, and sheer joy they bring to lessons inspires me to do more and continue being creative for them. 

What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?

To find your unique purpose and allow yourself to shine your light. Find your “why” and stick to it, remaining authentic to who you are no matter what else is going on around you. Within ElevateRA, my “why” is to inspire young girls to unleash their inner power and become more confident, resilient, and empathetic. I believe in enhancing these tools now, knowing they are imperative skills throughout life. 

How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?

I rely on my paper diary a lot – I need to write everything down and I like lists!  I try to send reminders and confirmations to ensure things are all planned and booked in advance. It’s also very important for me to carve out time for myself and my kids, so I get up before the kids for exercise time and always try to schedule meetings around their school days. It’s not always possible but I plan the weeks with this as a goal.  I also try to be prepared before the week or day ahead for example, I have a bag of all essentials to take to meetings prepared the night before. Virtue lies in the middle, the key to life is balance and therefore reminders to work consistently and hard each day but not to overdo it or beat myself up if I have not managed everything, I intended to is okay. 

Name a seminal point in your career so far?

Writing a book, and having it make the British Business Book awards shortlist, and seeing it on the Amazon Best Seller list was a mega moment as I never saw myself as an author. Receiving three other business awards this year also has meant an incredible deal to me. Personally, to even be shortlisted is an honour so I feel incredibly grateful to have won. The recognition for my work being valued reminds me why I do this and inspires me to continue to work hard and push through obstacles. 

What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?

I aim to make a difference. I feel the most satisfied knowing that all the hard work I put in today, will make a real impact tomorrow. The skills which I aim to teach young girls, I feel are undervalued within the school curriculum. Whilst school can teach you to become a super analytical writer or how to solve extra difficult mathematic problems, who is going to teach them to be kind or have confidence in themselves. I firmly believe instilling that those skills in young girls will aid them through the tricky teenage years and later in life too.

Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?

Oh yes, so many to name, I absolutely love stories of grit and perseverance and learning about how someone was able to take adversity and turn it into something powerfully positive. Jo Malone, Mo Gawdat, Simon Sinek, Steve Jobs are all examples of those who have are working to leave the world a better place with their impact and passion. 

How do you define your own success?

To laugh every day and to find the joy in simple pleasures – that is happiness – and I believe it comes from within, it is not something to chase. If I feel happy from within, then I think I am succeeding! It’s that simple for me. 

Finally, what can we expect from you next?

I hope to remain true to my passion by continuing to find ways to elevate as many girls as possible. However, I try to not put too much pressure on myself so I will keep on taking things one day at a time, dreaming up ways to expand the Elevate business. Watch this space!

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