Kayvonne F., 20 – FUNDED

“I hope to inspire other young people to never give up on their goals and aspirations — even if they don’t feel like there’s that much support, because there will be!” says Kayvonne F. This Paliwal Club of 100 STEAM Scholar is wrapping up her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biotechnology at Indiana University Bloomington.

What is your professional dream?

I dream to be a part of a research team developing biologics or small molecule medicine.

What does being in the Paliwal Club of 100 mean to you? 

It means the world to know that there is a support system out there for underrepresented people — especially in the scientific field.

Women are underrepresented in the S.T.E.A.M. (science, tech, arts or math) fields and music industry. How can we change this? 

We can support women emotionally, intellectually, and financially to continue their pursuit in these fields. It’s hard to continue going down a path when you feel isolated and not wanted. Having people celebrate and support women in these fields can change how other young women see these fields and they will want to join.

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

People have doubted my abilities — including teachers and counselors who were supposed to be there for encouragement. I’ve had teachers say I am not prepared to take a math class that I succeeded in with flying colors — or that I’m not prepared to continue with the next grade although my standardized tests were well above average.

This lack of support has been a challenge when pursuing a career in science as a young Black woman.

I have overcome these challenges to my self-confidence by continuing to prove people wrong and continuing to prove myself right.

How will this grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

This grant will help me reach my goals of gaining experience in the research lab I am a part of on campus. It is hard getting enough experience in this lab while also trying to support myself financially!