Hemlata Sharma, 19 – FUNDED

“The only difference between me and my destination now is my efforts,” says Hemlata Sharma, a junior at Bryn Mawr College. The New Face of Tech winner is majoring in mathematics and minoring in data science because her dream is to become “the best data scientist out there!” She ultimately hopes to carry her knowledge and inspiration back to the women in her country — she’s from Mathura, India! — who lack support in STEAM, but who are also so intelligent in these areas.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

I feel very responsible to help empower women in STEM and I also feel very encouraged to pursue my dream. Finally, I believe there are people who want to support girls like me to get into tech.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

I think we’re already on our way to eliminating the underrepresentation of women in STEAM. The only thing is that we should keep putting more and more effort to it and also try to spread the same awareness to underdeveloped countries.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

I went through a lot of discouragement, especially in my high school. I was one of the three girls in my STEM class. The boys were so ignorant and made us feel like outsiders.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’m very thankful to be able to study in a women’s college where I am surrounded by empowered girls all the time. It makes us feel included and proud of every little achievement. Also, my friend circle consists of mostly empowered and opinionated girls.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

It’s another stepping stone for me in reaching my goal of becoming the best data scientist. Every mentorship I’ve had has pumped up my will to pursue my dream.