Leading the Way

Sahana Kumar, a 92130 resident and junior at Francis Parker School, was recently awarded the Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) San Diego Affiliate. The award honors high school girls who have demonstrated interest and achievements in STEM fields, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for continuing their education. “It felt very surreal to win,” Sahana shared. “The best part was definitely just getting the opportunity to interact with other girls who won the award and hear about all the incredible things they’ve done.”

Sahana is a member of the Science Olympiad Advisory Board, the president of the Math Team, the director of website education on her school’s History Day team, and the director of software training and autonomous code on Francis Parker’s FRC Robotics Team. She was also the recipient of the FRC Dean’s List Award at the FIRST Las Vegas Regional competition. Outside of school, Sahana has interned with University of California San Diego’s Cardiac Mechanics Research Group for the past two years, runs a writing club at the library in National City, and volunteers with an organization called EIS that helps bring science to children whose schools have underfunded science programs.

She enjoys writing and has even published two fantasy fiction novels, the first at age 12 and the second at age 14. “In the future, I hope to major in bioengineering or electrical engineering and work on developing medical devices,” Sahana said. “I also hope to continue working with organizations like EIS to bring science and robotics to kids who haven’t been lucky enough to experience it the way I have.”