“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” -Milton Berle
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a Junior at the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies in Edison, NJ. I absolutely love research in the biological fields and I’m a huge advocate for STEM education in third world countries. I founded a non-profit organization, called School for a Village, to bring technology and educational resources to students in these countries. We have raised over 60% of the cost to build a new science laboratory in a school in the village of Bahjoi, India. Actively involved in research, I’ve pursued independent projects in the fields of genetics and allergy/immunology, and was selected as a 2016 Siemens Competition Semifinalist.
Fun Fact: I love too-large-for-me sweatshirts! I enjoy playing tennis and will complete my Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) graduation this summer after 13 years of training.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
I absolutely love Microsoft Publisher for any kind of design work from graphics to brochures. I also love Pandora Radio!
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My role model is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is the prime example of a woman who took the challenges she faced as fuel for her fight to better the world. She is the ultimate personification of a leader; a visionary and an unbelievable communicator. I hope to emulate her in this respect; to stand taller in the wake of a challenge, and to inspire change in education in third world countries.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Early this year, I tore a ligament in my wrist while playing tennis. After I underwent a wrist surgery, I lost much of my independence because I couldn’t write or type for a while. I was also unable to do many of the activities that brought me happiness such as tennis and dance, and most school and work-related endeavors took double the amount of time.
As I got through these months (with the help of some amazing people), I realized that there is always something positive to look towards even when everyday activities become a challenge. My greatest motivation is my desire to learn more about the world and improve it in a tangible way. I know that I just have to harness this whenever I feel stuck.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
There is absolutely nothing stronger than internal motivation. So, explore the world. Don’t be afraid to try something new, to enter unfamiliar territory. And when you find that one thing that keeps you going no matter what, you will never feel lost. Chase it, harness it, and cherish it.
Anjali Gupta earned Honorable Mention for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspiration in Computing. Only 350 National Honorable Mention Award recipients were selected from more than 3500 applicants.