Archika Dogra, USA, 16
Project: The EduSTEM Initiative
Basic Human Needs: Education
The moment she walked into her first computer science camp, Archika found herself looking around a room of 30 boys and just one other girl. From that day, almost every STEM-related experience she faced sent the resounding message, “STEM isn’t a place for a girl like you.” Frustrated time and time again, Archika researched the gender disparity in STEM and realized that individuals from a lower socioeconomic status and racial minorities were disproportionately excluded from the STEM narrative too. Determined to change the inequality in STEM, she co-founded The EduSTEM Initiative. EduSTEM aims to utilize STEMX curriculum, such as STEMXPoliticalScience and STEMXEntrepreneurship, to educate, encourage and empower minorities in STEM. An initiative that started with five students in Archika’s community, EduSTEM now includes STEM-learning environments across nine chapters and three countries. They have held over 60 workshops, camps and events, directly impacting more than 500 minority youths across the globe. EduSTEM has extended its impact through partnerships with Vital Voices, Disney, AI4ALL, Microsoft and other organizations that seek to increase both accessibility and inclusivity in education. In the future, Archika aspires to further globalize the impact of EduSTEM by supporting new chapters and holding STEM leadership events. Her vision is not only to educate youth, but to empower them to use STEM as a medium for social change.