Youth Advisory Board Alumni

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Welcome Anonymous

Aanika P.

Aanika P.

Host of Generation Female Podcast, STEM Advocate

Aanika is a junior in high school and she is very passionate about medicine and mental health. She's attended many summer camps on the subjects of STEM from a very young age and focuses mainly on the medical field. As the co-founder and president of her school's Yoga Club, she advocates for mental health in her community. She also hosts a podcast called "Generation Female" where she interviews successful women in STEM to bridge the gender gap in STEM. She is fascinated with health sciences and is an active member of the Future Medical Professionals Club at her school. Her goal for next year is to create a HOSA chapter in her high school. Aanika is thrilled to be part of the Girls Advisory board and encourage young girls to follow their dreams in STEM!

Ananya B.

Ananya B.

Equality in STEM Advocate

Ananya B. is a rising senior who plays badminton and soccer. She is just as passionate about gaining knowledge as she is about sharing it with others. She loves seeing the connections between different disciplines and never backs down from a challenge. She has attended the COSMOS program at UCSC where she studied discrete math and number theory. She is passionate about computing and engineering. Ananya is dedicated to advocating for equality in STEM and nurturing the next generation of female engineers.

Annum H.

Annum H.

Equality in STEM Advocate

Annum is a rising junior in high school. She is an active part of her all-girls robotics team and is interested in the technology and engineering aspects of STEM. Annum is avid about increasing gender equity and representation of minorities in STEM fields and has contributed to the cause by creating a robotics program to introduce young girls to robotics. She aims to continue these efforts and specifically target underserved girls. She is a Girls Who Code alumni and started a Girls Who Code Club at her school, where she enjoys making projects that address relevant issues and serve her community.

 

Arushi A

Arushi A.

Founder of Unknown16

Arushi is a junior at WWP HSS and has passion for computer programming as it challenges her to think critically. She is the outreach director of her district's robotics team and in addition is an avid programmer. She is the founder of Unknown16.com, a nonprofit organization dedicated to UN sustainable development goals like supporting and educating female and minority interest in computer science and narrowing the racial and gender gap of participation in this field. She has conducted STEM workshops for 200+ underserved students.

Bee B.

Equality in STEM Advocate

Bee has always loved environmental sciences and has especially been focused on wildlife ecology. This lead them to volunteer at the Millbrook Zoo and hold two wildlife film festivals in their hometown. They are also on the winning team for the middle school level of the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, and have presented on biomimicry at environmental events. They combined their love of science and art into winning the Cary Institute Data Jam, [the family category]. They like to spend their free time reading and hanging out with their friends, as well as participating in volleyball. A newfound area of interest for them is neuroscience and psychology and they can’t wait to explore it further!

Bella G.

Bella G.

Co-Founder of Empowering Environmental Education (EEE), Girls in STEM Advocate

Bella is a junior at the Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, NJ. An active member in her community, Bella works on social activism projects on a variety of different fronts including starting a non-profit with her peers from the JSA Young Women’s Leadership Institute to educate youth about the changing climate, and programming and launching her own website to provide a data analysis on the crisis in Yemen. She serves on her school’s environment committee and student council, and runs events on and off campus to promote civic engagement and awareness. Apart from project work, Bella is an engaged member on her soccer and lacrosse teams and enjoys volunteering, cooking, and spending time with friends. Bella is passionate about service work and relief efforts and hopes to work in humanitarian aid after college.

Brennyn P.

Brennyn P.

STEM Advocate

Brennyn is a Senior at New Village Girls Academy, she enjoys reading, technology, all aspects of food (cooking, eating or otherwise), science, and absolutely loves storytelling. She just wants to graduate and “get on with her life.” When she grows up she wants to be successful and leave behind a legacy; dreaming of opening a school or even founding a town. Both of which would be built and run on common sense and courtesy.

Caroline S.

Caroline S.

AIME Qualifier and National ARML Contestant

Caroline is a sophomore in high school, and she has been involved in STEM for as long as she can remember. Mainly focusing on math, Caroline has participated in dozens of math competitions throughout middle and high school, both regionally and nationally. She is proud to have achieved a perfect score on the AMC 8, the only girl out of three perfect scorers from her state. More recently, she scored in the national top 2.5% on the AMC 10, qualifying for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME). For the past two years, Caroline was selected to be on the North Carolina team to compete at the national-level ARML competition; on the 35-person team, she was one of the only three girls present. Other notable math events that Caroline has participated in are Mathcounts, USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS), Duke Math Meet, and the NC State Math Contest (NCSMC).

Currently, at her high school, she is the co-leader of the Math Club, as well as the leader and founder of the Physics Club. Besides math, Caroline also enjoys physics and computer science. Although she is just beginning to learn computer science, she is already fascinated by the subject and can’t wait to learn more about coding!

Charlie D.

Charlie D.

MIT Launch Participant

Charlie is committed to promoting women in STEM. She is interested in Computer Science and has attended MIT Launch, where she began developing a startup. Charlie helps in leading her school’s STEM club and leads an NCWIT AspireIT initiative that teaches girls how to code. Charlie received the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and hopes to expand her knowledge of various programming languages. She enjoys mentoring and teaching others how to code and is excited to encourage more girls in STEM through the National Girls Collaborative Project.

Christine A.

Christine A.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Christine is a rising junior in high school from Atlanta, Georgia. She’s extremely passionate about STEM as the vice president of her school’s Mu Alpha Theta/ Math Team Chapter and Girls Who Code Club. She also founded a chapter of Girls Who Code at her local elementary school and serves as a Creative Staff member at Reinvented Magazine. Christine and her sister are launching CodeHers Collective, an initiative to provide free virtual coding lessons to girls. When she’s not learning about code or teaching other girls how to code, Christine can be found upcycling bucket hats out of old jeans, baking banana bread, and painting over her walls!

Christine S.

STEAM Advocate and Computer Science Student

Christine is passionate about the interdisciplinary nature of Computer Science, specifically the connection between technology and art to inspire social change. Her research on the psychological techniques embedded in application design and their social ramifications, presented at an annual state Speech and Debate competition, led her to receive a Governor’s Award in Arts Education. Being one of the few girls in her advanced STEM classes, Christine hopes to show girls the wonders of STEM from a young age to bridge the gender gap. Christine led a community program to teach young girls web-building skills including the programming languages HTML and CSS. As a recipient of her school’s Mathematics and Science Academic Achievement Awards, Christine also tutors students in her community in STEM subjects. She hopes to instill a love for STEM in young people around the world through her work with the Girls Advisory Board.

Cynthia O.

Cynthia O.

Co-Founder of the Student Cultural Committee

Cynthia is an avid activist and feminist. She co-founded the Student Cultural Committee at her school, a committee that works to diversify the school and make students and teachers of different cultures feel welcome. She’s also working to better educate her community about social issues, like systemic racism. She is a poet and a dancer. She was a state finalist in North Carolina’s Poetry Out Loud competition and she was the captain of her school’s dance team. She has been interested in science, particularly neuroscience since before she could remember.

Cynthia has always had questions about the brain and all the wonders that came with it. An AP Psychology course helped answer some, but brought up so many more! This, mixed with the heart of an activist, pushed her to be a content reviewer for the International Youth Neuroscience Association, a youth led organization that works to provide the world’s youth with neuroscience resources and education.

Divya S

Divya S.

Women in STEM Advocate

Divya has been interested in STEM since an early age. Over the years, she observed a widening gender gap in her STEM classes at school. To address this issue and promote interest, she started a club to inspire younger girls and advocate for more women in STEM. This club works with elementary school kids, conducts workshops, and is collaborating with companies such as “Girls In Tech” on international projects to create more awareness. Additionally, the club has advocated for bills supporting this cause by meeting multiple senators and policy makers at Capitol Hill. Divya also is the co-founder of a company, and has won numerous awards for her business acumen from DECA, an entrepreneurial competition. She enjoys volunteering, has received the Silver and Silver Trefoil Award, and is working towards her Gold Award in Girl Scouts. She is also an accomplished Kathak dancer and enjoys teaching younger kids as an assistant teacher. Divya is very excited to join this advisory board and encourage young girls in STEM!

Emma M.

Emma M.

International Computer Science Advocate

To Emma, computer science acts as a force multiplier and as a bridge between cultures. Emma is a sophomore Computer Science and Mathematics major at Washington University in St. Louis. During the summer of 2017, Emma formed lasting friendships with girls from the Middle East and North Africa, while she helped them learn to program in Python, at the State Department funded Tech Girls program.

Emma focuses on helping low income girls, and girls who are underrepresented minorities, gain the underlying math skills they need to enter college as computer science majors. She tutors elementary school children on math every week in St. Louis, MO. During the summer of 2016, Emma worked with Dr. Gloria Washington at Howard University to develop software, in Python, to identify people of color from pictures of their ears, by improving existing algorithms for ear recognition. From 2017-2019 Emma created a website in HTML for the lab of Dr. Wendell Hill at the Joint Quantum Institute at The University of Maryland. Now, Emma works at The Remote Sensing Laboratory for Dr. Raymond Arvidson doing research and data analytics on the Mars Rovers. She hopes to inspire other girls to pursue careers in Computer Science and Aerospace.

Gisele S,

Gisele S.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Gisele S. is a rising sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland. She participates in debate, STEM club, and physics olympics at her school. She has a passion for STEM and hopes to encourage other young girls to gain a love for science through her involvement in YOGA board. She is an advocate who enjoys working with GenERAtion Ratify, an organization that advocates for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Additionally, she is a dancer who enjoys spending her time in the studio.

Hajirah N.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Hajirah is a junior in high school. She is passionate about robotics, engineering, and STEM. Her ambitions are channeled into a drive to inspire minority girls to join careers in STEM. She aspires to become either an electrical or robotics engineer. She is a martial artist with a second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, having practiced the art for over 7 years. She is the founder of her school’s first STEM club, teaching coding and cybersecurity skills to the members. She is a part of the National Team for Girls Computing League, a current Girls Who Code member, and is a youth representative for her city’s council. She is the captain of her school’s FIRST robotics team and mentors a FIRST Tech Challenge Team.

Her experience with robotics and martial arts is what sparked her passion, and she hopes to see more visible Muslim girls learn and grow through the two fields the same way she did. Besides that, she loves to write and aspires to publish a children’s book inspiring young girls to pursue engineering. Making an impact at a young age is a huge way to break down barriers, and she hopes her book can one day do that for others. She is passionate about the earth’s well-being, representing her state in an environmental advocacy group. In her spare time, she loves to read, skate, bake, spend time with family, and practice the Rubiks cube. She is thrilled to be joining the Advisory Board, and hopes to meet new people, learn about opportunities, and make an impact through this experience.

Hannah L.

Hannah L.

Founder, STEM to Inspire

Hannah Lee is a rising senior who is a member of different organizations. She runs her own organization called STEM to Inspire where she aims to bridge the income gap in the STEM field by providing educational opportunities to those in underprivileged communities. She also helps run the VA Chapter of Girl STEMpowerment who aims to bridge the gender gap in the STEM field. She is also a menstrual and racial justice advocate and hopes to bring together her community through her work as an activist. Her intended career included becoming a psychiatrist or neurosurgeon to further her love for the medical field.

Hansa G.

Hansa G.

Author, Founder and CEO of Leadstreams

Hansa is an 8th grader in Round Rock, Texas. Hansa loves creating art, playing the piano, and is trained in Indian classical dance. She also loves reading, writing, and photography. Her favorite subjects are math, science, art, history, and French.

Hansa is the author AI for Kids, a technical book she self-published in 2019, which introduces the basic concepts of Artificial Intelligence in simple terms to kids. She is also the founder and CEO of Leadstreams, a volunteer organization to help middle and high school girls build communication skills that are essential to become STREAM leaders. She was recently interviewed by Girlstart about both AI for kids and Leadstreams.

Hansa has participated in the 2019 Congressional App Challenge and won the President’s Award for Educational Excellence in 2018. Hansa is also a member of her school’s Library Advisory Board and the National Junior Honor Society. She is passionate about STREAM and aspires to be an astrophysicist when she grows up. Working for NASA is her big dream.

Helen P.

Helen P.

USA Computing Olympiad Bronze Medalist

Helen is a rising sophomore at Harvard studying Computer Science & Statistics. During the school year, she performs data research at the Harvard Kennedy School and interns for a fintech startup in mobile app development. Right now, she's completing a software engineering internship with Infosys, an Indian tech consulting company. Growing up she always loved STEM, and has seen the gender imbalance at play too many times. Helen knows so many intelligent, capable young women, and their potential is truly unlimited.

Jenny S.

Computer Science and Multimedia Design Enthusiast

Jenny loves working with all the different STEAM fields, but is most interested in studying Computer Science because she is thrilled by the infinite creative possibilities of code. In school, she is taking both AP Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles. She has also created several different applications and taught several web development and multimedia production courses. She is a TRANE award recipient, FBLA state champion, and ranked first in her speech and debate category for her state. Outside of academics, Jenny enjoys singing and doing yoga. In the future, she hopes to blur the line between Computer Science and art and engage in interdisciplinary work. Jenny is so excited to be a part of NGCP’s Girls Advisory Board to promote a love of STEAM to young girls.

Kayla P

Kayla P.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Kayla is currently a junior in high school from Taunton, Massachusetts. Every year, she has competed in science fairs at the high school, regional, and state level. She’s particularly passionate about micro and molecular biology. She’s placed 1st at both the high school and regional fairs with biology based projects and has won the Air Force award and an award for achievement in micro-molecular biology. It is one of the most rewarding experiences she’s ever had, and she hopes that other girls all over the country can have an equal opportunity to participate in STEM programs or competitions as well.

Aside from her STEM pursuits, she is the captain of her high school tennis team and a member of the swim team. She’s also the treasurer of her school’s Model United Nations Club and the Vice President of her school’s Key Club. She is a member of the Interact Club as well. After high school, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine. She is very excited to be a member of the Girls Advisory Board and hopes to encourage young girls to pursue programs in STEM!

Lilia B.

Lilia B.

Founder of CodewithLilia.org

Lilia is an incoming freshman at The University of Chicago and has always been interested in math, science and technology. She is an active board member for TechGirlz.org where she teaches tech shops in Python and 3D Design. While in High School Lilia was not only the captain of her high school’s varsity tennis and debate teams but also a Jr. Coach for Girls on the Run International. Lilia is most proud of founding CodewithLilia.org which centers around expanding computer coding to young girls. She developed the web site to help guide coding workshops and connect with as many girls as possible.

Maria P.

Maria P.

STEM Advocate

Maria P. is a 6th-grader and has a passion for horses. Maria is a dedicated martial artist and is pursuing a black belt. Maria's favorite subjects in school are Science and Language Arts. She is striving to be an inventor and has already made progress on a few of the inventions she is working on! Maria is looking forward to using her voice and her creativity to change the world and make more space for girls on this planet and beyond!

Megan G.

Megan G.

Technology Student Association Representative

Megan Goulet is a passionate, enthusiastic college sophomore studying computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Megan has been actively involved in many acts of volunteerism, including service as the State Officer of the Connecticut Technology Student Association during the 2018-2019 academic year, a three-year volunteer at the iCan Bike program, and volunteers at miscellaneous events throughout the state. She is an active member of Coding && Community, a STEM-oriented community service club. Throughout her freshman year in college, she volunteered to be a Java Instructor for Troy High School, as well as encourage children and minority students to pursue passions in STEAM.

Megan excels academically, making the Dean's Honor List her first semester of college, and is a semester ahead in her computer science studies. Megan is also actively involved in undergraduate research. She currently works for Rensselaer's Institute for Data Exploration and Applications as an Undergraduate Researcher. She works as a Front-End Software Developer for RPI's and IBM's HEALS (Health Empowerment by Analytics, Learning, and Semantics) program, which uses cognitive computing to help patients prevent and manage their health conditions, help doctors use data to construct the proper treatment for their patients, and reduce the costs of medical care nationwide. As a National Winner of NCWIT's National Aspirations in Computing Award for 2019, Megan hopes to spread her passion for computer science to other aspiring students. Outside of computer science, Megan likes to cycle, hike, and read. She is excited to support the National Girl's Collaborative Project and to help more young women be involved in computer science.

Meghana C.

Meghana C.

Founder of RESTEM Initiative

Meghana is a junior in high school at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and she is really passionate about chemistry. Her curiosity in the natural sciences was sparked early on from science fairs and Science Olympiad competitions, in which she has placed top ten in states multiple times. As a 9th grader, she self-studied a college-level biology course, earning college credit and scoring a near-perfect score on the Biology SAT Subject. Currently, Meghana is on her school’s varsity science olympiad, science bowl, and ocean science bowl teams. Since middle school, she has participated in National History Day, a national historical research competition, where she has placed top ten in the nation. Analyzing the achievements of influential women in science, such as Rosalind Franklin, inspired her to pursue research. Currently, she is a member of the selective Research in Chemistry program at NCSSM.

Meghana founded RESTEM Initiative, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to minimize the rural-urban educational divide by enhancing STEM education for the rural community, and inspiring and preparing them for real- world STEM occupations by providing free, fun, and educational experiment kits designed by her. Some of her hobbies are baking, dancing, and learning new music on the piano and violin. Meghana has been learning an indian classical dance called bharatanatyam and violin since she was 7 years old and will be finishing her dance arangetram (graduation performance) this summer!

 

Melody H.

Melody H.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Melody is going into her sophomore year in high school. She has been a part of FIRST robotics since second grade and is currently the captain of an FTC team. Through robotics, Melody has hosted and planned many demos, workshops, and camps. For example, she has worked with IBM to teach the GIGAWOT (Girls Inspired Greatly About the World of Technology) camp for girls interested in STEM. She has also planned and taught EV3 and FTC summer camps. Recently, Melody used her knowledge in STEM to help the community by working with her robotics team in providing 3D-printed PPE to medical workers, teach weekly virtual robotics classes, and organize a fundraiser for these efforts. Additionally, Melody has mentored multiple FIRST teams in her area and has planned events and scrimmages to benefit these local teams. Melody is also a USA Computing Olympiad bronze medalist, Gold Presidential Service Award winner, and NCWiT Aspirations in Computing Regional Honorable Mention award recipient. She also serves on her school’s student council technology board.

Natalie P.

Natalie P.

Aviation Ambassador

Hi guys! My name is Natalie and I am one of the founding members of the YoGA Board. I am currently studying Human Physiology, Public Health, and Women and Gender Studies at Boston University. I am passionate about women in STEM and want to help young girls get involved in medicine and engineering! I got involved in STEM when I was just four years old when I watched the discovery channel. This interest transformed into a passion and I hope one day into a career! In addition to medicine, I am fascinated by aviation and am even building a plane to fly once I complete my pilot training. If there was one thing I would want to tell girls interested in STEM its that it doesn't have to become your whole life and it doesn't have to be your defining attribute. I was scared to declare my love of science because I thought that if it did it would become my whole personality but in reality, it's just one part of who I am. I still love makeup, reality tv, and hockey, and none of those things make me any less of a scientist.

My favorite thing about the YoGA Board is the extraordinary girls I get to work with across the country. Each of us brings a unique perspective about science and education that is essential to our work. We all want to make STEM an accessible field for any child that is interested!

Niharika B.

Niharika B.

Co-Founder, Coding the Future

Niharika is a member of the Girls Advisory Board and is a rising 3rd year at the University of California, San Diego majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Economics. She is a co-founder of Coding the Future, a student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to inspire elementary school and middle school students in 3rd through 8th grade to learn about coding & computer science. On campus, she is a tutor in the CSE department and an active SWE & WIC member. In her free time, she enjoys teaching yoga, traveling to the National Parks, and making ice-cream. This summer she is a software intern at Google out of the NY office.

Raksha G

Raksha G.

Executive Officer at Encode Justice

Raksha G. is a senior who is passionate about utilizing neuroscience and AI research to push for progressive policy change. She interns at The Center for Science and Law, where she focuses on research merging law, neuroscience, and data to better legal systems, and is the Georgia President and a National Officer at Encode Justice, where she organizes town halls, conducts legislative outreach and involves over 20+ states in the U.S. to advocate for more ethical AI policy and legislation. At school, she studies mathematics and computer science at Georgia Tech and delves deep into public issues on her school’s Varsity Debate team. As the daughter of a first-generation female engineer and a STEM student herself, she is passionate about bridging the gap in opportunity for women researchers, engineers, and scientists.

 

Renuka G

Renuka G.

National Geographic ATC Anatomy/Physiology Top 10

Renuka had a deep passion for the STEM field ever since her childhood. As a child, she loved to read books on anatomy/physiology and participate in STEM events at her school, which she still continues to do. She is actively involved in STEM activities/initiatives both inside and outside school. As a rising senior at her school, she founded the HOSA Future Health Professionals Chapter, is a member of the Science Olympiad team, academic team, and president of the Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP).

Outside of school, she is actively involved in the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council, an environmental sustainability initiative, where she serves as a committee chair. She created a math and science tutoring website along with 3 other students which received a "Best of Fair" award at the STLP State Championship. Additionally, she won several state and local academic team awards, placed regionally and nationally in art competitions such as the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and placed among the top 10 for the international National Geographic ATC Anatomy and Physiology test. Renuka hopes to pursue medicine in the future and continue being involved in activities dedicated to encouraging women to pursue a career in STEM.

Ritika S

Ritika S.

STEM Ambassador

Ritika is a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as part of their EMSAP (Early Medical School Acceptance Program). She hopes to spread the value and opportunity that the world of STEM provides in a targeted approach towards girls, especially younger girls. With both her parents in STEM fields, she has come to learn and appreciate the gateways that STEM can provide for anyone with a dream to change the world. Her favorite part of STEM is science, more specifically health and medicine. She hopes to enter the medical field as a physician and potentially work to combat health disparities.

Along with taking classes, she conducts Parkinson’s research and actively enjoys being a part of on-campus organizations such as the Social Justice Advocacy Council where she helps advocate for social justice in the Birmingham, the Active Minds Executive Board where she pushes for the destigmatization of mental health, and the SGA where she serves as the Civic Engagement Co-Coordinator to help get students registered to vote. She has a passion for spreading knowledge and empowering individuals to effect lasting change that lifts up marginalized groups. As part of the Girls Advisory Board, she hopes to focus on grassroots promotion of STEM to younger girls and to those in high school seeking to expand their horizons.

Shreya H.

Shreya H.

YWCA Volunteer and First Lego League Mentor

Now a rising Senior in high school, Shreya has always been involved with STEM-oriented activities both in and out of school. During the course of her academic career, she has managed to accrue nearly 7 years of volunteer experience. Shreya has had the privilege of working for the YWCA, a women's empowerment organization, in helping mentor FLL robotics teams in her free time. Furthermore, last year Shreya was given the prestigious silver Presidential award for holding classes at her local community building for a 32-week class for young girls in order to engage them with STEM. She created lesson plans as well as executed a successful science fair at the end of the classes with 50+ girls participating. Being an integral part of a First Tech Challenge robotics team, Prototype G, as well as having been in the FIRST robotics program for several years now, has truly helped her find her passion for creative problem-solving.

Aside from being a total STEM nerd, Shreya is an environmental activist. As the president of her school's Environmental Club, she has been avidly working on conservation in New Jersey through a project called Sustainable Jersey. She also works closely with Girl Scouts of Southern and Central New Jersey and has been a Girl Scout herself for more than 9 years, doing community service projects. Shreya has managed to complete her Bronze and Silver award for Girl Scouts and is now working on her Gold Award, with a total of 600+ hours of volunteering.

Shreya was recently asked to serve as the Girls Advisory Board Digital Content Manager for NGCP. She is more than thrilled to serve this prestigious position! She kickstarted this new job by expanding horizons for NGCP media by creating a TikTok, developing new and relevant content for the NGCP Instagram, and working with organizations to further the project's agenda to nurture young girls in STEM. No matter the situation, Shreya always immerses herself in the STEM community around her and loves to help young girls do so as well!

Shreya S

Shreya S.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Shreya is a high school senior who is passionate about the intersection of computer science and neuroscience. From a young age, she has always loved asking questions about the world around her, and naturally enjoyed many scientific subjects. However, after an eye-opening experience with a young girl in India, she realized that many students do not have access or the confidence to pursue the same opportunities she had. She then founded Route to Success, a non-profit that aims to inspire and empower minorities in STEM and advocate for educational equity. Through Route to Success, she hosts STEM workshops and competitions, raised money for girls’ education in Africa, and led an international conference with an Emmy-award winning speaker to raise awareness about the gender gap.

Besides her work with Route to Success, some of her accomplishments include developing an app for training autistic children to recognize emotions, researching treatment and diagnostics for Parkinson’s Disease, investigating childhood cancer treatment disparities, and qualifying for AIME and Mathleague Nationals. In her free time, she enjoys Indian classical singing, piano, and creative writing.

Shyla S

Shyla S.

Institute for Science and Technology Student

Shyla S. is going into her junior year of high school. She is a three sport student athlete. She is always striving to do her best both athletically and academically. Shyla attended the Institute of Science and Technology program in middle school and has contnued to pursue STEM opportunities. She will be taking college classes including language and composition, calculus AB, capstone, and chemistry. She is also participating in a 2-year genomics research project.

Shyla hopes to pursue a career in medicine and is looking forward encouraging young girls around the world to be involved in STEM programs.

Sydney R.

Syndey R.

AP Computer Science Student

Sydney R. has always been passionate about science. From a young age she enjoyed nature camp and forensics. She knew she wanted to study medicine and go into pathology when she was 10 and her favorite classes have always been in STEM. Sydney is a Junior and looking forward to taking AP science courses. In addition to physical science, Sydney excelled in AP computer science last year where she was one of 6 girls in a class of almost 30. In her spare time, she is an active participant in her school drama and choral program where she will be choreographer for both show choir and the music review production. She knows how important it is to encourage young girls in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math, and is so excited to join this board of incredible girls.

Vanesha H.

Vanesha H.

Co-Founder of Joys of Giving and STEM4All Advocate

Vanesha is an avid swimmer, violinist (Western and Indian classical), math lover, tinkerer and visual arts enthusiast. She is an analytical, hands-on and creative person interested in the intersection of technology and social change. As a co-founder of a nonprofit initiative Joys of Giving she has raised over $10k with a focus on bringing equity in education.

Her first personal experience and inspiration for being a STEM4All advocate began when she was a math camp counselor and noticed many young girls didn’t seem to be passionate, gave up easily and mentioned that being an ‘engineer’ was not for girls. Being a math lover, recipient of awards in competitions and having aced high school math classes in middle school, this seemed odd and she wanted to do something about it. A second learning in her journey was when she explored her interest as a tinkerer and enjoyed robotics but yet again found it was dominated by males and she hardly found any girls who were interested. This gap widened further when her passion for coding and tech was not something that was equally enjoyed by her peer female friends. All these learnings and experiences have made Vanesha very enthusiastic and passionate about bringing other girls and underserved minorities further along in exploring their passion in STEM fields.

She strongly believes that by creating more opportunities, advocates, and role models we can march towards an inclusive STEM community. She is part of several nonprofits teaching math, science and coding for girls and underserved kids completing over 300+ hours and impacting the lives of at least 150 kids thus far as part of workshops, classes and camps. As a recipient of the Presidential Service Gold Award in recognition of her community service, she wants to be a role model for younger girls who feel like they do not have a voice, and teach them to always “Remember their ABC’s (Always Be Confident).” She strives to think more broadly than just her personal experience of gender inequality and wants to BRIDGE the GAP in STEM regardless of age, culture, income and any other adversities. The two quotes below inspire what she does, what she wants to do and drives her passion forward. 

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