Thanuja Ravindran: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Thanuja Ravindran started her business as a part-time tutor from home in 2010; in 2012, she opened My Stars Academy, which expanded into Elite Stars Montessori School in 2013. What was the inspiration for her career route? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Elite Stars Montessori School is dedicated to providing academic programs and an enriched learning environment to help students succeed. We believe learning is maximized when it takes place in an environment filled with encouragement and support. Our goal is to facilitate the development of self-confidence and self-learning by imparting our students with the academic foundation necessary to reach their full potential. 

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
As a university student wanting to make part-time money, I started tutoring from home and helping students after school with their homework. My passion for teaching motivated me to further my studies with a Bachelors of Education and begin my career as an Ontario Certified Teacher. While working at other schools, I dreamt of one day opening my own school. I’ve now begun this journey and work passionately every day knowing that I am in the pursuit of my dream.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is seeing children be excited about coming to school and wanting to learn. The children’s “Good morning Ms. Ravi,” with a bright smile, makes my day.

Easily, the most challenging part is balancing the time I spend with my business, family, friends and hobbies. I love what I do and can work all day.

Where do you see your business going in five years?
Expanding Elite Stars Montessori into a bigger school and having other extensions in different cities across Ontario.  

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is doing something that brings happiness. This gratification is further attained when my students become young successful individuals.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Quitting my job and having the courage to devote all my time to convert my part-time home tutoring business into a full-fledged learning centre.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Believe in yourself and do what makes you happy. Don’t wait for the golden opportunity, go ahead and create it. Don’t succumb to failure; think of it as the stepping stone to success.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
With an active board of directors and volunteers, I am the founder and CEO of The Champ Initiative (TCI). The Champ Initiative exists to develop and deliver programs to children and youth in underserved communities in Toronto. We provide supportive services that aid to enhance their education, health and overall well-being. Through our resources, hard work, and determination we help children, youth and their families achieve their full potential. At TCI, we believe the root of all problems that impedes a better future can be summed up by a lack of education, lack of confidence and lack of opportunity. Our aim is to remove the “lack” and change the outcome into a positive one, and are able to build confidence by improving knowledge. This is one of the ways in which I am able to give back to the community and further help children and youth in need with educational services.

What is Notable to you?
Notable is when you are an inspiration to others to dream more and achieve more.

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How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Getting a full night’s sleep, combined with diet and exercise. This includes taking daily walks with my dog and working out at least four times a week.