Founder: Amiya Chokhawala
When I first enrolled in challenging STEM classes, such as advanced JAVA programming and robotics as a middle schooler, I was excited to learn skills that I could use to help others through technology.
However, when I began participating in these activities, I soon felt isolated: Most of my peers were male. While I still strove for a career in STEM, I felt increasingly inferior as the boys around me grasped and applied concepts quickly. I lacked female peers to provide the support I needed to succeed. As I learned harder concepts, my lack of understanding increased and I eventually felt hopeless.
When I volunteered to teach elementary and middle school students STEM subjects, I noticed similar tendencies. Despite their youth and enthusiasm. fewer girls raised their hands. They harbored unnecessary doubt in their abilities, were reluctant to ask for help, and gave up easily.
My experiences and the trends I noticed in younger female students are not coincidental. These tendencies are ingrained in our culture and are internalized at a young age, eventually resulting in a shortage of women in science, math, engineering, and technology professions. According to Catalyst: Workplaces that Work for Women, a nonprofit organization, women make up 50% of our population, yet only represent 27% of all STEM careers. My own observations have shown that girls lack role models needed to help them overcome outdated preconceptions and a corresponding lack of confidence.
By starting STEMher, I hope to inspire girls to pursue STEM careers, while supplying them with the tools and opportunities that they need to close the gap. Our mission is to introduce STEM to girls, who will become future builders and leaders. By nurturing intellectual curiosity, boosting confidence, and providing motivation and support, we can encourage more girls to choose STEM career paths based on their abilities and ambitions.
Amiya Chokhawala, CEO and Founder
Amiya Chokhawala is a junior at the Harker School in San Jose, California and the founder of STEMHer. By inspiring young women and providing them the right resources, she is confident that the gender gap in STEM fields can be changed.
Amiya is passionate about many things including the environment, animal rights, and much more. In her free time, she likes to play the oboe, paint, and watch shows!
Ameya Saund, President
Ameya Saund is a Sophomore at Saratoga High School in California and is the founder and President of STEMHer. Ameya wants to help spread diversity in STEM and promote women around the world to pursue careers in STEM.
Ameya has participated in Robotics competitions on regional and state levels for over 3 years. She has won Khan Academy Math competitions in 3rd and 4th grade. Ameya is a national-level Ice Skating Dancer, a Star Scout, and is actively progressing to be an Eagle Scout. Ameya is an accomplished Ballet and Bharatnatyam dancer. In her free time, Ameya likes to play the violin in orchestra, paint, and have fun with her friends
Lili Lance, Program Director, New York
Lili Lance is a junior at the Hewitt School in New York City and is a program director at STEMHer. She aspires to provide girls with the opportunity to learn about STEM, and hopefully inspire them to pursue the field in the future. Through robotics and leading the Girls Who Code club at her school, she has developed a passion for engineering and computer science. She also loves to play soccer, run, do puzzles, and try new foods!
Khushi Joshi, Program Director, India
Khushi Joshi is a student in Grade 10 in SVKM International School in India and she is a program director for STEMHer. She believes that access to STEM education should be available to all women to encourage them to pursue their dreams. She is a black belt in karate at the national and international level. She also enjoys roller skating, basketball and playing chess. She is an avid reader, pianist and likes to draw in her spare time.
Ashly Martinez Rodriguez, Program Director, Rhode Island
Khyaati Magon, Program Director, Florida
Khyaati Magon is a Senior at International Studies Charter High in Miami, Florida, and she is a program director for STEMHer. She wants to provide girls the resources they need so they can successfully pursue a career in the STEM field. She is part of various clubs in school such as the National Honor Society, and enjoys music, playing the guitar, reading and dancing.
Aarohi Desai, Program Director, New Jersey
Aarohi Desai is a freshman at Metuchen High School in New Jersey. As a program director at STEMHer, her goal is to encourage more girls to take part in the STEM field. She has been part of various clubs, such as environmental club, and enjoys music, art, reading, and being around nature
Ameyaa Desai, Program Director, New Jersey
Ameyaa Desai is a freshman at the Metuchen High School in New Jersey. She is a Program Director at STEMher. She wants to motivate other girls to take up STEM by showing them how much fun it can be.
She is part of her school’s cross country and track teams. She has been an active member in various clubs at school, like tech club and yearbook club. For the last three summers, she has been interning at many companies internationally. Some of her hobbies are reading, writing, playing piano, listening to music, and spending time with her dog!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Farah Papaioannou, President @ Edgeworx
Farah Papaioannou is the president and co-founder of Edgeworx, a startup that enables people to run and develop applications at the edge, which she founded, bootstrapped, and got funded all while having two children. She has more than 15 years of experience in the enterprise software market, both as an investor and an operator. Additionally, she
is currently on the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors.
Farah holds three degrees from Stanford University. She graduated with a Bachelors's degree in Computer Science, a Masters's degree in Communications, and a Masters's degree in Management Science and Engineering.
Susan King, Teacher in Computer Science Department @ Harker School.
Susan King has been programming since 1969 when she was fortunate enough to be taught by the person hired by her high school (Great Falls High School in Montana) to write a scheduler. He generous taught one class, which covered Fortran and assembly language. Though by today’s development environments, card desks seem primitive, she fell in love with programming.
Susan worked in the tech industry in San Diego. She shifted to education in the late ‘90s with the idea that she wanted to share the wonderful world of CS with high school students for a few years before returning to industry. She never did return. She was fortunate enough to find a second professional love – teaching.
Susan holds B.S. in Computer Science from Montana State University and M.Ed. Educational Technology, University of Central Florida Teaching Credential, Florida