Youth Advisory Board Members

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Kelly Reina

Kelly Reina

YAB Chair & STEM Program Specialist

Kelly manages the Youth Advisory Board. She received her MA from Arizona State University, in evolutionary anthropology, and has a strong background in scientific research, specifically in comparative and developmental psychology. She has conducted numerous studies at various social cognition labs (including at the Max Planck Institute, Yale University, and Arizona State University), working with a range of nonhuman primate species (mainly chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys) and children. She has even presented her research at Phoenix Comicon dressed as Zelda's Link! 

Kelly is passionate about promoting equity in STEM and has worked at the Children's Creativity Museum, the San Francisco Zoo, and STEMful. In her free time, she enjoys aerial dancing, going to concerts, and hiking.

Amanda K, youth advisory board member

Amanda K.

Summer STEM Institute Participant and Founder of Pop for a Cause

Ever since middle school, when an exceptional science teacher taught and inspired her, Amanda has been extremely passionate about STEM and plans to continue on this path in the future. She first discovered the gender gap in STEM when she showed up to a biology club meeting and was the only girl! She didn’t let this stop her, and this year, Amanda was one of the few underclassmen in her AP Biology class full of upperclassmen, and Amanda is now the president of the Biology Club at her school. Amanda is also captain of her school’s Ethics Bowl Team, where she regularly incorporates bioethics. STEM-wise, Amanda had the fantastic opportunity to intern at Novavax, Inc. last summer and worked in the Clinical Immunology Department, reinforcing her interest in biotech.

Amanda is a social entrepreneur and founder of two impactful nonprofit organizations. Amanda founded a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization Pop for a Cause, which donates 100% of its profits towards charitable causes and conducts monthly community events. Pop for a Cause has raised $23,000 for charitable organizations thus far, engaged 150 volunteers in community events, and was featured on 20+ news outlets. Amanda also founded iDream of Dance to close the opportunity gap of elementary school-aged children by offering free dance lessons and confidence-building workshops. iDream of Dance currently has 12 active chapters worldwide and 50+ free online course lessons. The organization has donated 1,250+ costumes and accessories and impacted 400+ children. Amanda is also a pre-professional competitive hip hop dancer and earned First Place and the Award of Excellence for her choreography, performance, and direction in the National PTA Reflections Art Contest from the Montgomery Council of PTA.

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.

Ava N.

Ava N.

Co-founder, META (Mathematics, Engineering, Technology development, and Art) Club

Ava is a rising sophomore in high school who has developed a passion for STEM as a whole and is particularly fascinated with subcategories such as engineering, artificial intelligence, and computer science. As a young adult, Ava feels that it is her duty to help her fellow school and community members gain access to useful, hands-on, and informative resources that have the potential to encourage high school-aged girls to pursue a STEM-related career. She has participated in and received awards for several clubs at her school including Model United Nations, Economics Club, and Future Business Leaders of America, which have provided her insight into the rapidly advancing scene of technological progression. Additionally, Ava is one of two co-founders of her school’s META (mathematics, engineering, technology development, and art) Club. While the club is relatively new, Ava and her partners plan to expand the influence of their group throughout their community and state in order to provide an extensive variety of projects, experiments, programs, and more to aid young students in their exploration of STEM.;

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.

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!

Caroline O.

Caroline O.

Equality in STEM Advocate

Caroline is a junior in high school from Great Falls, Virginia. She enjoys anything STEM and hopes to pursue a career in engineering. She also has a STEM blog, where she encourages and spreads awareness of STEM for high schoolers. She also volunteers at the Children's Science Center, a local interactive STEM museum, where she continues to spread the love of STEM through community outreach. In her free time, she loves baking, hiking, and playing the piano

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!

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!

Elizabeth V.

Elizabeth V.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Elizabeth is a junior in high school in Central Valley, California. She is passionate about computer science and advocating for girls in STEM! Her passions led her to start an initiative, Pursue Her Passion. She runs coding classes, publishes blog articles, and holds interviews with women in STEM. As part of this she also launched a Classroom Outreach Program to teach STEM lessons to schools/classes with no STEM education.

In school, she is in the PLTW Computer Science Pathway program. Elizabeth is also part of the Hackathon Club, where she attends coding competitions, and the VEX Robotics Team, where she is in the coding department. She has been an active Varsity Science Olympiad member for 7 years, earning numerous awards on the local, regional, and state level. Outside of STEM, she is a competitive swimmer for her high school’s team and loves to bake and travel! She is thrilled to have the honor of sitting on the Girls Advisory Board and encourage girls to pursue their dreams in STEM!

Erika VK

Erika VK

Girls in STEM Advocate

Erika is a sophomore at her high school in Libertyville, Illinois. She is passionate about the STEM fields, especially science and math, where she plans to focus her future. Erika is part of her school’s Mu Alpha Theta Club as well as Girl Scouts, where she is currently leading a project focused on introducing young girls to STEM. She is also committed to her academics and will be taking college courses including language, calculus, history, and physics in the near future. In her free time, Erika plays lacrosse, enjoys cooking, and likes creating art. She also loves to travel and visit countries with particularly unique cultures. Finally, Erika is excited to be a part of the Girls Advisory Board to help the National Girls Collaborative Project inspire young girls to pursue their STEM futures!

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.

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!

Lindsey H

Lindsey H.

Girls in STEAM Advocate

Lindsey H. is a sophomore in high school and has always had a strong interest in the STEM field. She has always loved science and hopes to pursue a career in genetics. In school, she is involved in her school’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals chapter. She has competed in HOSA events and continues to be very involved. She is also a part of her school’s Math Team and STEAM Girls Club. She loves to get hands-on experiences with the STEM field and has participated in summer camps at Michigan Technological University that offered courses based on science and technology. In her free time, she likes to read, play board games and card games, play tennis, and compete in archery tournaments. She is very excited to be involved with other girls in STEM and can’t wait to explore new opportunities!

Megan M, YAB Member

Megan M.

Co-founder, META (Mathematics, Engineering, Technology development, and Art) Club

Megan M. is a rising sophomore who has always demonstrated a strong passion for STEM, specifically biology, biomedical engineering, computer science, coding, and data informatics. From a young age, Megan was inspired by her parents, both in the IT field, to get involved with computer engineering. Her goal is to normalize girls in STEM and spark the interest of young women to pursue STEM-related occupations through her community. She is committed to encouraging and providing young women access to resources such as volunteer services, speakers in the STEM field, competitions, and programs. As a result, she hopes more students participate and explore the various fields to minimize the STEM gender gap.

Megan is an active participant in numerous clubs at her school including Model United Nations, Medical Club, Economics Club, and Junior Math League. Additionally, she is a part of her school’s cross-country team, crew team, and plays travel lacrosse. Megan is one of the two co-founders of the META (mathematics, engineering, technology development, and art) club at her school. The club focuses on exposing high school girls to STEM through creative competitions, experiments, and provides mentoring. Megan is excited to be a part of NGCP’s Advisory Board to make a difference in motivating young women to be engaged in STEM.

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!

Nicole X.

Nicole X.

Girls in STEM Advocate

Nicole is a junior in high school, and her long-held passion for STEM mainly lies in the area of computer science and technology. She loves to program in several languages and solve algorithmic problems, and she currently competes within the Gold Division of the United States of America Computing Olympiad. She is also currently working on several outreach projects as the president of her school’s computer science team, as well as her city’s Girls Who Code organization, which is working to bridge the gender gap in computer science.

Outside of her academic career, Nicole enjoys working on various art and music projects. She plays the 1st violin in her high school’s varsity string orchestra. Furthermore, her artwork has earned several Scholastic Art Competition Gold Keys and placed in Blick’s Celebrating Art Contest National Top 10. Nicole is super excited to be on the Youth Advisory Board and continue supporting girls who are looking into the field of STEM!

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.

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.

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