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Ananya Varahabhatla

1735

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I am a incoming freshman at Penn State and I am passionate about increasing diversity in the STEM field, especially to women. My mission is to help spread STEM knowledge, and I achieve this through my work and volunteering efforts. I work at a STEM center where I teach elementary school aged children robotics using legos, and all of my volunteering pursuits involve educating my community in STEM. I have also held leadership positions in school clubs such as the Technology Student Association, the Society of Women Engineers, and GirlUp, and look forward to continue these pursuits in college.

Education

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Engineering/Engineering-Related Technologies/Technicians, Other
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
    • Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians
    • Computer Science
    • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Minors:
    • Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering
    • Design and Applied Arts
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other

Panther Creek High

High School
2017 - 2021
  • GPA:
    3.7

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Technology

    • Dream career goals:

      Cybersecurity Analyst

    • Coach / Instructor

      Zebra Robotics
      2020 – Present4 years

    Arts

    • Indian Carnatic Vocal Music

      Music
      2009 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      TechGirlz — Teacher Assistant, Teacher
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Education Matters Scholarship
    Six 120 pound robots stood in front of me, and the bleachers were packed. The basketball court had been converted into a robotics field (an upgrade, if you ask me). I ran across the side of the field with my camera to follow my team’s robot. It was the last 30 seconds of the game and our robot needed to hang off the bar in the middle of the field to win. The timer was ticking down and the crowd was hushed in anticipation- which side would win the final match. 5, 4, 3, 2... In 8th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Gilmore convinced me to join the robotics team she was starting, even though I was reclusive and pessimistic; that was, without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made. Robotics quickly became one of my favorite pastimes and introduced me to the world of STEM. High school was a fresh start for me, and in freshman year I joined the Technology Student Association and found a haven to share passions among friends who have similar interests. Even throughout the irregularities of high school, robotics and TSA kept me rooted in the STEM field. I was able to explore a variety of events and learned many new technological skills. However, the more I succeeded in STEM, the more I realized if I wanted my ideas to be incorporated, I needed to become firm and confident in my opinions. At a state competition one time, my team got to the championship and needed to choose another team to be in our alliance. I had a team in mind who had great mechanisms, but my teammates wanted to ally with a team we had worked with previously. I was outvoted and we ended up losing in the first match of semi-finals, while the team I had chosen won the championship and went on to be the first all-girls team from North Carolina to go to the World Championship. This is only one of the many experiences which propelled a change in me. This growth definitely wasn’t all at once, but each year, I learned more techniques and leadership skills, such as using CAD software, doing digital design and editing, speaking in public, and leading a team to get tasks done. I realized the shift in how people reacted to me when I held myself with confidence and pride, as well as the improvement in my mental health. I became optimistic about the future, and found an affinity for doing and teaching STEM. Sharing my knowledge and teaching other people the skills I know is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done, and in a world where technology is advancing as rapidly as it is, it’s an important skill set for everyone to have. Unfortunately, the stereotypes built into STEM make it harder for young girls to succeed in the field. Having faced many of these biases myself, I’m enthusiastic about increasing the number of girls in STEM. I take every opportunity to educate other young girls in my community through volunteering and outreach events. ...1. The lights flashed red and blue to symbol victory and I saw my teammates jumping and cheering from the bleachers. I was flooded with relief and jubilation that our hard work had paid off.
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    The disadvantages females face in the STEM field is pressing, because it isn’t as accessible and encouraged to young girls as it should be. As a woman in the field, I want to work to dispel the disparities in STEM education. Pictured is me working with TechGirlz, where I organized a workshop for middle school girls on 3D Animation. Throughout my journey I have made it my mission to educate children in STEM from my volunteer pursuits to my job, and I plan on continuing this throughout my life.