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Jothi Ramaswamy USA, 16

Project: ThinkSTEAM
Basic Human Needs: Education

After Jothi’s father passed away, her mother supported the family thanks to her engineering degree. Jothi was shocked to learn from her brother that his coding class had 33 boys and no girls. With a desire to open the door for other females to become independent, Jothi founded ThinkSTEAM. The non-profit organization’s mission is to raise STEAM awareness among girls, motivate them to pursue STEAM careers, and enhance their critical thinking and communications skills. In partnership with organizations like Facebook, Google and IBM, they provide workshops to introduce girls to a variety of STEAM workplaces. Their workshops have reached more than 400 girls more than 50 school districts in eight U.S. states. This year, ThinkSTEAM is developing a workshop series that will challenge girls to collaborate and create a technology platform that raises awareness about social issues they care about. They further promote girls to encourage and support each other through their nationwide ThinkBIG Challenge, asking girls to create videos that show other girls why STEAM is important to them. Working with PepsiCO and Million Women Mentors, they are connecting girls in grades 8 – 12  to strong female mentors. In the next year, Jothi plans to onboard additional partners from as many STEAM disciplines as possible to offer more workshops and opportunities. Along with a more diverse curriculum, ThinkSTEAM is soon expanding into five more states as well as Brazil and South Africa to inspire girls to pursue STEAM across the globe.