1,000 Dreams Fund Blog

Saumya Bansal, 26 – FUNDED

“I believe hard work inspires, resources empower, and awards add the motivation to repeat the cycle,” says Saumya Bansal, who is originally from India. She loves the quote from author Roy T. Bennett: “Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” This New Face of Tech winner’s dream is

Naima Cooper, 22 – FUNDED

Naima Cooper’s dreams is to be a filmmaker and author. She recently wrapped up her undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill — a bachelor’s in education, where she focused on Human Development and Family Studies. “This investment in me motivates me to pursue the dreams I’ve had since I was 12 and to share my gifts

Sarah Brill, 26 – FUNDED

“I am incredibly grateful for this grant — and I cannot wait to continue growing my skills within my field of research,” says New Face of Tech winner Sarah Brill. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, and a Master of Science degree in Human Factors and Ergonomics

Priyanka Benny Fernandes, 25 – FUNDED

“Every achievement is a boost of motivation,” says Priyanka Benny Fernandes. “This scholarship will help me think out loud and move forward with an unending effort and determination to achieve the goals I have set for myself.” Originally from Mumbai, India, this New Face of Tech winner is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Biomedical

Daniela Markazi, 25 – FUNDED

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” ― Melinda Gates That’s a quote that inspires New Face of Tech winner Daniela Markazi, an Informatics Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (where she also received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a minor in Natural Resource Conservation).

Jayda Murray, 18 – FUNDED

As a creator, Jayda Murray wants people to be able to use her art and tech work as conversation pieces which can lead to practical action. “After I graduate, my dream is to work with Japanese gaming companies while I develop the skills and know-how to start my own indie game studio working in-between the

Oluwaseun (Shay) Falade, 29 – FUNDED

“The difference between an excellent and an average person is consistency,” says Oluwaseun (Shay) Falade . For her, that means “consistently putting in the extra effort, consistently staying motivated, consistently keeping focus on her goal, and consistently praying to God.” With a proven track record of great academic success and a strong desire to use

Maryann Benny Fernandes, 26 – FUNDED

“No one else knows your story better than you, and you are your storyteller,” says Maryann Benny Fernandes, who has quite the story herself. Originally from Mumbai, India, she is an international, first-generation, low-income, second-year master’s student in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on Physical Science and Technology, at Stanford University. This New Face of

Erika Bowen, 25 – FUNDED

Erika Bowen wants to improve how we produce and use stem cells to treat disease through engineering research and development. Her next step in the journey to her dream is completing her Ph.D. program in Biomedical Engineering at University of Georgia (UGA), where she also received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering. This New Face

Catherine Laserna, 18 – FUNDED

Catherine Laserna likes to remember that successful people aren’t just lucky, they open every door — and at least one of those doors led to an opportunity. She always keeps in mind this mantra — “It’s not whether you can or can’t, it’s if you will or won’t.” It cues her to explore as much