Niharika Shukla, 21 – FUNDED

Niharika Shukla is originally from New Delhi, India, but she’s pursuing her dreams in Ithaca, New York, by majoring in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. She wants to enter the biotechnology industry and combine that path with medicine.

“This win reaffirms my belief that women belong in STEAM and are supported to be their best selves,” says the New Face of Tech winner. “This grant will help me finish out the last few semesters of college with less debt and more financial independence.”

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

It means being a part of creating a more inclusive and diverse environment where people of different backgrounds and cultures are not only welcomed, but celebrated!

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

I think young girls should be exposed to STEAM in school and have female role models they can look up to. This scholarship is a great step in not only recognizing women in STEAM, but also in elevating them to be role models for future generations.

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

I have often been the only woman in the room in several of my classes, which made it difficult to form a good support system for school and career guidance. Also, throughout college, I have worked multiple jobs each semester, which made it difficult to have time to work on engineering projects and take certain classes.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I am extremely passionate about my classes, which helps me stay motivated to do well and achieve my goals! Being organized and taking one day at a time helps me keep moving ahead every day.

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

This grant will help me work fewer hours at my on-campus jobs and devote more time working on engineering projects and taking more classes that interest me. Not being worried about how to pay the bills will help me be more empowered in making decisions that will help my career in the long run!