Yadhu Dhital

Born on the bank of Mai River, Yadhu grew up in Beldangi II, a Bhutanese refugee camp in Eastern Nepal, before moving to the United States in early 2009. At the end of that year he moved again, from Jacksonville, Florida to Pittsburgh, where he resumed his high school education. Within two years of resettlement, he graduated from Baldwin High School in 2011 with high honors, and received the President’s Academic Excellence award. He was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with scholarships in 2012 to begin his college career. In his sophomore year at college, Yadhu won a competitive Semester At Sea full tuition scholarship from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) and visited 14 countries through that educational voyage.  In 2013, he assisted fellow University of Pittsburgh students to establish Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment (PRYSE) Academy. In 2014, he was selected for the University of Pittsburgh Honors College’s competitive Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship to carry out an independent research project on the mental health of resettled Bhutanese in Pittsburgh. He collected and analyzed data to identify the occurrence and perception of mental health symptoms among Bhutanese in Pittsburgh.

In 2015, Yadhu graduated from University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor in Natural Science (pre-med track) with honors. He also successfully completed an undergraduate certificate program on the Conceptual Foundation of Medical through Pitt’s Department of History & Philosophy of Science. To receive this certificate, it was necessary to take biomedical ethics courses beyond the requirements for a BS in Natural Science.  In addition, he is a winner of a University Honors College Scholarship and Alec Steward Memorial Book and Resource Award.

After graduation, Yadhu was selected for a competitive fellowship at Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS), where he has been working with the Immigrants and Internationals Initiative and the Office of Behavioral Health. At DHS, he is working on projects that aim to reduce behavioral health problems face by immigrant and refugee populations. He is also contributing to a strategic planning process to develop a community-wide blueprint for immigrants and internationals (I&I) to help them thrive in Allegheny County. He primarily works with a team that focuses on developing action steps to create healthy I&I communities in this region.

Yadhu also leads the Bhutanese Student Group of Pittsburgh (BSGP), whose aim is to encourage high school students to pursue higher education and give back to their community. Working with fellow student volunteers and community leaders, he directed a one-day bus trip to Washington, DC, that provided an opportunity for 45 Bhutanese seniors who do not speak English to visit the nation’s capital. The trip was structured by BSGP, supported by BCAP and funded by Jefferson Foundation and Barsha Jewelers.

Yadhu has been working closely with Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment (FORGE) at University of Pittsburgh and FORGE at Carnegie Mellon University as a community liaison. He assists the FORGE volunteers in becoming familiar with Bhutanese refugees’ cultural and historical background and helps the student volunteers organize activities and cultural events. He also helps the Refugee Health Advocacy Program (RHAP) at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to explore specific health needs of resettled Bhutanese through discussion, presentation and meetings.

Yadhu is a certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor and is trained in using the Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment (ANSA). He is also a member of the board of directors of Squirrel Hill Health Center.