Sharon, 20 – FUNDED

Sharon Tia Jia is a student at Columbia University, where she is studying both computer science and architecture, which will serve her well for her future goal; to be a product designer who creates things that enhance experiences and interactions. With classes mainly dominated by male students, this Paliwal Club of 100 grant winner also knows how important it is to show the next generation of girls that they can have STEAM dreams — and succeed in them, too.

What is your professional dream?

I want to be an IU/UX designer to create products that enhance human experiences and interactions.

What does being in the Paliwal Club mean to you?

It’s an honor to be selected as part of the Paliwal Club and to be associated with a group of highly motivated women that want to make an impact in STEAM.

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

We should encourage and motivate women to take on larger leadership roles so that younger girls can have role models to look up to while feeling inspired to pursue careers in STEAM.

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

Males have largely dominated my STEAM classes, and that has been difficult. Seeing that many more men hold leadership positions in the workplace has definitely been discouraging at times, too. However, finding other intelligent and motivated females in STEAM has definitely pushed me to pursue this path and will hopefully inspire the next generation of females, too.

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

The grant will allow me to attend the Design Conference 2020 in Brisbane, Australia, where I will be able to learn more about design innovation and the people leading these inspiring projects. I know it will further ignite my passion for design, and I would not be able to attend if it weren’t for this grant!