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Akshaya Dinesh usa, 17

Project: Girls Make Apps
Basic Human Needs: Education

When Akshaya wanted to join her high school robotics team, she entered into a room of boys who mocked and laughed at her when she asked to join the team. To raise the alarmingly low percentage of women studying and working in computer science and engineering, Akshaya created Girls Make Apps, a national nonprofit organization and youth-driven movement changing the status quo in STEM. Through workshops, classes, competitions and mentorship opportunities, Girls Make Apps’ programs teach computer science to young women and minorities in underprivileged, underrepresented communities, impacting hundreds of girls across the United States. Their most recent event, ByteHacks, gathered 300+ women in NYC and online to create tech solutions for social issues. On a larger scale, their online opportunities and outreach through partnerships with Spotify and the U.S. Congress, have impacted thousands. Over the next year, Akshaya hopes to expand internationally, recognizing that the state of girls’ education is a global crisis. She also plans to recruit additional Regional Program Leaders, targeting areas where girls and minorities have little exposure to computer science education. Akshaya’s vision is to make Girls Make Apps a global movement of women changing the world using technology.