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Kamya Malhotra


Bold Points




My grandfather often quoted Emerson, saying, "Hitch your wagon to the stars". My grandfather was a chemistry graduate, he wanted to do wonders in the world of science, but because of family obligations, he could never pursue higher education; therefore, he took up a job in a textile mill. My zeal for science, especially chemistry, was sparked by him. He would answer all my questions about science and math. He would also teach me about dyes and the chemistry behind them, and I remember deciding at just seven years old that I wanted to be a scientist! Later in school, I realised how much I loved being in the lab. Although they would be fundamental experiments, I would be entranced by them, as a result of which I made great friends with my chemistry teacher. I would usually be the first to finish and get the desired result on the first try. I was a natural! No one in my immediate family had ever thought about going abroad to study, mainly because of finances and how inaccessible we thought the west to be. But I decided to look past these barriers, and with the support of my parents, I decided to take the leap. My grandfather would've been immensely proud of me for taking this decision and coming to the US at just 17. I come from a very middle-class family and have funds for one year of tuition at a community college. Therefore any monetary help goes a long way. In my little time here in the US, I have realised that procuring financial aid for international students, especially pupils of colour, is immensely different and challenging.


Seattle Central College

Associate's degree program
2023 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

    • Apprentice as a PA

      AS consulting
      2020 – 20222 years



    2015 – 20194 years


    • first place in interstate tournament

    Artistic Gymnastics

    Junior Varsity
    2010 – 20166 years


    • third place in an intercity tournament


    2018 – Present6 years


    • best defender


    • Biopsychology

      Hiranandani Foundation School — Lead
      2022 – 2022


    • Euroschool India

      Abstract Painting
      yin&yang. , creation of adam. , negatives
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      fuel a dream — raising money for procuring the water wheels
      2021 – 2021

    Future Interests




    Beyond The C.L.O.U.D Scholarship
    Amid the rhythmic chaos of India, where each festival is a kaleidoscope and every street a theatre of myriad tales, I chanced upon my own passion play between the methodical dance of molecules and the artistic alchemy of film development. While the vibrant tapestries of my homeland resonated with tales of ambition and resilience, the silent realms of laboratories and darkrooms whispered to me their own captivating stories. Growing up in a middle-class Indian household, I imbibed lessons that transcended the confines of textbooks. Life wasn't just about the grand narratives; it was equally about the interludes, the pauses, and the unsaid. This background, rich in values and grounded in reality, became the lens through which I viewed both Biochemistry and film photography. In the seemingly mundane, I saw profound patterns. Where others saw mere reactions, be it on film or in a petri dish, I discerned stories waiting to be told. Film photography, for me, was never just about capturing moments. It was a dance of chemicals, a meticulous process echoing patience and anticipation, much like the world of Biochemistry I was immersing myself in. Developing film at home transformed into more than just a hobby; it became a tangible manifestation of my love for chemistry. Each photograph I developed stood testament to the wonders of this science, an art form in its own right. On the academic front, my foray into Biochemistry wasn't accidental. It was a conscious choice, driven by curiosity and a desire to unravel the mysteries that govern life at a molecular level. My research papers, recognized among the top 1% in my environmental class, were not mere assignments but reflections of my commitment to bridging theory and real-world challenges, all the while ensuring that the knowledge I acquired had the potential for tangible impact. So, how does this scholarship fit into this mosaic of aspirations and experiences? Beyond the evident financial relief it offers someone from my background, this scholarship is a beacon. It symbolizes an affirmation of my dreams, the potential the world sees in the unique confluence of my interests. With this support, I can delve deeper into research, furthering my understanding and contributing to the ever-evolving tapestry of Biochemistry. Additionally, it would empower me to further explore the parallels between science and art, fostering innovations that are as profound as they are evocative. The question then arises: Why me? The answer lies not just in my evident passion for Biochemistry or my unique juxtaposition of it with film photography. It's in the resilience, determination, and perspective I've garnered from my roots. It's the promise of what I can achieve when armed with the right resources and the assurance that the knowledge and skills I acquire will be channeled back, ensuring that the dance of molecules and the magic of film resonate beyond labs and darkrooms. As I stand at this crossroads, envisioning a future enriched by research, creativity, and community impact, I circle back to where it all began – the vibrant, pulsating heart of India. The lessons, values, and dreams seeded in the bustling streets and quiet courtyards of my homeland remain my guiding stars. With this scholarship, I hope not just to chase those dreams but to realize them, ensuring that the legacy I leave behind is as vivid as an Indian tapestry and as impactful as a perfectly framed and developed snapshot of life.
    Bright Lights Scholarship
    In the curious intersection where Gatsby's ambition meets the allure of Dorian Gray's portrait, I stand, a Biochemistry major, as fascinated by the dance of molecules as by the magic of developing film. This unique blend, not unlike the tales from our favourite novels, steers both my academic journey and personal passions. While literature offers escapism, my drive is rooted in tangible impact. Through my studies and my hands-on experience with film photography, I've come to appreciate the immediate and visceral connection between science and art. This journey reached a notable milestone when my environmental research papers landed in the top 1% of my class, highlighting not just personal achievement but the importance of bridging theory with real-world applications. Developing film at home is more than just a hobby for me; it's an extension of my passion for chemistry. Watching the images come alive in the darkroom, I witnessed firsthand the wonders of chemical reactions, providing me with an artistic outlet for my scientific curiosity. It’s akin to painting but with chemicals instead of colours. This intersection of art and science, much like Akaky’s beloved overcoat, might seem simple to some, but for me, it embodies a world of exploration and meaning. Academically, my interest in the environment and its complex chemistry has been a driving force. Writing papers for my environment class, which were acknowledged among the top 1 percent, wasn’t just an academic exercise but also an endeavour to understand and potentially mitigate some of the challenges our planet faces. The recognition of my work is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the relevance and urgency of environmental issues in today’s world. So, what does the horizon hold for me, and how does this scholarship fit into the picture? My plans involve delving deeper into the realm of biochemistry and environmental sciences, aiming to contribute meaningful solutions to global challenges. I envisage myself working on projects that bridge the gap between laboratory research and real-world applications, ensuring that the knowledge we gain translates into tangible benefits for our communities and the environment. This scholarship is not just a financial aid; it's a catalyst. It will enable me to access resources, workshops, and research opportunities that would have otherwise been out of reach. Moreover, with the financial security it offers, I can invest more time in community outreach, perhaps initiating projects that raise awareness about environmental issues or even hosting workshops on the chemistry behind film photography, merging art with science. In the grand tapestry of life, where tales of Gatsby's ambition, Dorian's introspection, and Akaky's simplicity intersect, I see my thread weaving a pattern of scientific exploration, community engagement, and environmental advocacy. With the support of this scholarship, I am confident that the fabric I contribute to will be both vibrant and impactful.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    In the spirit of Gatsby's grand parties, Dorian Gray's transformative portrait, and Akaky's unforgettable overcoat, I aspire not just to hitch my wagon to a star, but to light up my community's sky, ensuring that while the world may not always need another soiree, it certainly benefits from a touch of reliable compassion and a dash of quirk.
    International Student Scholarship
    The dream of studying in the United States was laden with the allure of world-class education, exposure to diverse cultures, and prospects for personal growth. However, no dream is without its fair share of challenges. One of the first challenges I encountered was finding suitable accommodation. In a bid to save on living expenses, I settled for a place an hour away from college. This decision had me commuting long hours daily on the light rail, an experience that wasn’t always comfortable but had its perks. Each journey became a lesson in patience and adaptability. I encountered myriad individuals, each with a story to tell, enriching my understanding of the human spirit and resilience. Yet, in the midst of this initial challenge, I found an unexpected silver lining. The house I settled in became more than just a living space. It transformed into a community. My housemates, who also grappled with the English language and course complexities, found solace in our shared experiences. I took pride in assisting them with English and coursework that I had previously tackled. This communal bond not only eased our academic burdens but also fostered a sense of kinship. Photography became my outlet, helping me capture my experiences and perspectives. Through film and street photography, I encapsulated the life around me, the ordinary and extraordinary moments that told a tale of adaptation, growth, and resilience. Yet, not all challenges were about adaptation or personal growth. Some were basic yet equally daunting. The absence of nearby grocery stores posed a daily challenge. The routine task of buying groceries, a simple act back home in India, now demanded meticulous planning. Furthermore, the significantly higher cost of living, especially with regards to food, constantly reminded me of the stark contrast between my home and my current abode. Hailing from a middle-class family in India, every dollar I spent weighed heavy on my heart, knowing the financial strains it imposed on my parents. This brings me to the crux of why this scholarship is invaluable to me. More than just a financial reprieve, this scholarship represents peace of mind. It ensures that I can focus wholeheartedly on my academic pursuits without the looming concern of monetary burdens. It also alleviates the pressure on my parents, who have sacrificed immensely to ensure I receive the best education possible. With this scholarship, I can continue to dive deeper into my coursework, contribute positively to my newfound community, and capture the essence of life here through my photography, all while knowing that my family back home has one less thing to worry about. In essence, every adversity I've faced has moulded me, teaching me resilience, adaptability, and the value of community. With the support from this scholarship, I hope to transform these lessons into academic and personal achievements, paying forward the kindness and opportunities I have been bestowed.
    Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship
    The texture of an old book, to me, is akin to the weaving of an overcoat – each thread a narrative, protecting and shaping the soul beneath. My bibliophilic journey has been a mosaic of tales, characters, and profound epiphanies. The stories I’ve immersed myself in have been both windows to far-off worlds and mirrors reflecting my innermost desires and fears. Chief among these tales is my favourite short story, "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol. A seemingly simple story of a man and his cherished overcoat becomes, upon deeper inspection, a profound meditation on society, vanity, and the impermanence of life. Akaky Akakievich, the protagonist, is an unassuming government clerk who, after much scrimping and saving, manages to purchase a new overcoat. For a brief moment, he tastes the nectar of societal acceptance and respect, only to have it cruelly snatched away. This tale does not merely chronicle the life of a clerk and his coat but unravels the very fabric of human existence. The overcoat, in all its transient glory, becomes an allegory for our own ephemeral desires and achievements. How often have we, like Akaky, clung to material possessions or fleeting accolades, believing them to be the pinnacle of our worth? The coat's eventual fate serves as a poignant reminder of life's inevitable cycles of rise and fall. Drawing from this narrative, I've been inspired to view my ambitions and aspirations through the prism of impermanence. It isn’t to suggest that one should abandon ambition, but rather, it instils a perspective that values intrinsic worth over societal validation. The elation Akaky feels upon acquiring his overcoat is genuine, but it's the external validation that proves fickle and fleeting. Similarly, our joys, when rooted in our own sense of accomplishment, have a timeless quality. Conversely, when they're anchored to external applause, they remain as transient as autumn leaves. This story has further illuminated for me the fragility of human existence. Akaky’s life, often overlooked and undervalued by his peers, shines brightly, if briefly, in the glow of his new overcoat. It's a testament to the latent potential within each of us, waiting for the right moment to manifest. Our lives, much like the narratives within the pages of a book, are filled with peaks and troughs, and it is the interplay of these moments that crafts our unique stories. From Gogol's masterpiece, I've imbibed lessons that have shaped my goals, urging me to seek a life of depth, authenticity, and self-awareness. Each decision I make, each ambition I chase, is now viewed with a discerning eye, sifting the transient from the enduring. It's a constant journey of introspection, ensuring that the 'overcoats' I seek are not just adornments for the world to admire but shields that protect and define my essence. In wrapping myself with the wisdom from such tales, I find that literature doesn't just offer escape; it offers enlightenment. Like Akaky's overcoat, each story I've read has left an indelible mark on my being, reminding me continuously of the impermanence of life and the eternal nature of the lessons we glean. The books may age, their pages may yellow, but the narratives they house are timeless, shaping souls, one thread at a time.
    Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship
    Unravelling the intricacies of the universe might just be the key to unlocking the mysteries of our own existence. To many, the cosmos may appear as a vast, indifferent expanse, but for those who seek to truly comprehend its nature, it promises answers to some of our most profound questions. At its core, understanding the universe can shed light on our own nature. The carbon in our cells, the iron in our blood, and the calcium in our bones were all formed in the fiery cores of stars that exploded as supernovae billions of years ago. We are, quite literally, star stuff. By studying the life cycles of stars, from their birth in stellar nurseries to their explosive deaths, we gain insight into the processes that contributed to our own genesis. Thus, the quest to fathom the universe isn’t just about far-off galaxies and nebulae but about tracing our cosmic lineage. Furthermore, the unyielding pursuit of cosmic knowledge serves to answer the myriad "why's" that have been posed by philosophers, theologians, and scientists throughout history. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do the fundamental forces of nature, like gravity and electromagnetism, have the precise values they do? These questions might seem esoteric, but their answers could have profound implications for our understanding of reality. For instance, the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 helped answer why particles have mass, a fundamental property that underpins the structure of matter. Moreover, to truly grasp our place in the vast cosmic arena, we must seek to determine our relevance. On a clear night, gazing up at the Milky Way, it's hard not to feel a sense of insignificance. There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. Yet, it's equally humbling to realize that our planet, for all its seeming insignificance, is home to an astonishing diversity of life and intelligence capable of pondering these very questions. By probing the nature of our universe, we can contextualize our existence – are we a unique anomaly or a common occurrence in the cosmos? This journey of cosmic introspection also leads us to question our roots. How did the conditions for life arise in the universe? How common are planets like Earth? To address these, scientists have embarked on missions like the Kepler Space Telescope, which has discovered thousands of exoplanets, some of which lie in the habitable zones of their stars. Through these explorations, we're coming closer to understanding the prevalence and variety of planetary environments in our galaxy. But perhaps the most humbling question of all is regarding our significance. Are we as monumental as the luminous stars or as inconsequential as a speck of dirt? When Edwin Hubble observed galaxies beyond our own nearly a century ago, he unveiled a universe far vaster than anyone had imagined. This revelation forced humanity to reconsider its centrality in the cosmos. While it might seem that our planet, nestled in a quiet arm of the Milky Way, is just a mere dot, it's essential to remember that it's on this "pale blue dot," as Carl Sagan eloquently put it, that every human story has unfolded. Our significance doesn't lie in our scale but in our capacity to understand, appreciate, and explore. In conclusion, the drive to understand the nature of our universe is more than just an academic endeavour. It's a journey of self-discovery on a grand cosmic scale. As we delve deeper into the universe’s mysteries, employing cutting-edge telescopes, particle colliders, and theoretical frameworks, we're not only mapping out the cosmos but also charting the narrative of us – our origins, our place, and our destiny.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    If I could have everyone in the world read just one book, I would choose "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. This novel, a masterpiece of Victorian literature, provides readers with a rich tapestry of themes, lessons, and reflections that still hold great relevance in the modern era. At its core, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a tale of vanity, moral corruption, and the human quest for eternal youth. Dorian, upon seeing his portrait, wishes to remain forever as young and beautiful as the image before him, even if it means his portrait will bear the scars and age of his debauchery and sins. As the narrative unfolds, we witness the tragic consequences of this wish. The book's allegorical nature beckons readers to confront the stark disparities between our external appearances and our internal realities. One of the most profound lessons the story imparts is the importance of introspection. As Dorian spirals into a life of indulgence, he becomes increasingly detached from the true essence of his existence. He avoids looking at the portrait, fearing the reflection of his soul’s degradation. Similarly, in our lives, we are often tempted by superficialities, forgetting to connect with our true selves and what makes our lives meaningful. The novel reminds us to regularly assess our lives, ensuring we are not merely existing, but truly living in alignment with our values. Another significant theme is the idea of secrets and their inevitable exposure. Despite Dorian's best efforts to hide the physical representation of his moral decay, the portrait becomes an unavoidable testament to his actions. This mirrors the reality that no matter how well we believe we can conceal our wrongdoings, they have a way of manifesting, whether through the weight of guilt, deteriorating relationships, or other forms of personal turmoil. It's a stark reminder of the age-old adage: the truth will out. In essence, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" serves as a moral compass, urging readers to recognize the impermanence of beauty and the perils of unchecked vanity. It teaches one about the intricacies of the human psyche, the duality of our existence, and the inexorable ties between actions and consequences. Reading it is not merely an act of engaging with a work of fiction but an opportunity for deep personal reflection on the essence of life itself.
    Dr. Alexanderia K. Lane Memorial Scholarship
    In the rural heartland of Rajasthan, India, nestled between stretches of arid desert and vibrant markets, there lived a young girl named Mina. Born into a family of traditional carpet weavers, Mina's life was charted on a predictable course. Her village was small and underprivileged, far from the bustling life of big cities. Education, especially for girls, was scarce, considered less important than learning household chores and helping with family businesses. Despite her circumstances, Mina was different. She possessed an insatiable curiosity and a burning desire to learn. Her eyes lit up when she heard stories from far-off lands and tales of valiant heroes. She loved it when her grandmother narrated folktales under the dim flickering light of the kerosene lamp. Those stories painted vivid images of a world beyond her village, and Mina yearned to explore it. She firmly believed that the key to her dreams lay in the realm of education. In her village lived a man named Prakash, a retired school teacher who had chosen the peaceful life of the village after a long career in the bustling city of Jaipur. He noticed Mina's thirst for knowledge, her attentive eyes when he spoke about his city life and former students. Inspired by her determination and dreams, Prakash made a proposition: he would teach Mina in his spare time. Mina, seizing this golden opportunity, convinced her parents to allow her to learn. Prakash's teachings were not confined to a traditional school curriculum. He believed in the power of a comprehensive education. Borrowed textbooks, old newspapers, and his previous lesson plans were the sources of their lessons. He taught Mina about different cultures, fundamental scientific concepts, world geography, history, and English. Each new lesson made Mina's world expand, and with it, her dreams grew bigger. As years passed, Mina's hard work started bearing fruit. News of her exceptional learning reached a philanthropic organization that provided scholarships to students from rural areas. She was invited to take a test, and her exceptional performance earned her a scholarship at a prestigious school in Jaipur. Moving to the city was a challenging transition. The bustling city life, advanced curriculum, and a different language were overwhelming. But Mina was made of stern stuff. She remembered Prakash's teachings and her dreams of transforming her family's life. After years of dedication, Mina graduated as a civil engineer, a feat almost unheard of for girls from her village. She worked on significant infrastructure projects in Rajasthan, contributing to the development and growth of the communities around her. But Mina's journey didn't end there. She used her earnings to fund the construction of a school in her village, ensuring no child would be deprived of the education she had to fight for. This journey of Mina, triggered by the benevolent act of Prakash, transformed not just her life but the fate of her entire village. His small act of kindness sparked a change that lasted generations, highlighting the profound impact of helping others. This anecdote is a testament to the power of education and the transformative potential that lies in reaching out, supporting, and uplifting others. Her life is an example to thousands of girls and i am one of the lucky few who get to call her grandma.
    Iftikhar Kamil Madni Science and Engineering Memorial Scholarship
    My grandfather would often quote Emerson, saying, "Hitch your wagon to the stars". My grandfather was a chemistry graduate, he wanted to do wonders in the world of science, but because of family obligations, he could never pursue higher education; therefore, he took up a job in a textile mill. My zeal for science, especially chemistry, was sparked by him. He would answer all my questions about science and math. I remember him taking me to a planetarium in Mumbai. We were so fascinated by the gadgets up for show there, and we also learnt a lot about various stellar astronomical events. He would also teach me about dyes and the chemistry behind them, and I remember deciding at just seven years old that I wanted to be a scientist! Later in school, I realised how much I loved being in the lab. Although they would be fundamental experiments, I would be entranced by them, as a result of which I made great friends with my chemistry teacher. I would usually be the first to finish and get the desired result on the first try. I was a natural! No one in my immediate family had ever even thought about going abroad to study, mainly because of finances and how inaccessible we thought the west to be. But I decided to look past these barriers, and with the support of my parents, I decided to take the leap. Even though he is not here today, he would be immensely proud of me for taking this decision and coming to the US at just 17. We come from a very middle-class family and have funds for one year of tuition at a community college. Therefore any monetary help goes a long way. I have proved my enthusiasm for science through the several science fairs I've participated in and won. And my test scores, of course. I have a steady hand in lab work and have always been captivated by it. Therefore, when I spoke to my teachers and counsellors about what majors to look into, they always suggested biochemistry. When I dug deeper, I discovered that this major could lead me to work in an industry that I have always believed to be very enticing, discreet and unexplored- forensic studies. After I graduate, I see myself working for a federal agency and helping them bring justice to this world by doing tasks from behind the scenes. Thus, by getting into this profession, I hope to bring value to society, fulfil my life's mission and make my grandpa proud.