During the 2019-2020 school year, the Stir Scholarship committee awarded inaugural scholarships to three young women who will be pursuing college degrees in computer software. These women come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We asked them to tell us about themselves and will be highlighting them in the coming weeks. We hope that reading their stories will inspire other young women to pursue software degrees and apply for the Stir Scholarship.
The first scholarship recipient we’re highlighting is Bhawana Khatiwada. In her own words, here is what Bhawana told us about herself.
"My name is Bhawana Khatiwada and I graduated from eSTEM Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. I will be attending Otterbein University this fall. I heard about this scholarship from my computer science teacher Mrs. Trachsel at my High School, and immediately applied for it.
I have always been interested in technology since my childhood, so I would love to study it in detail and make great contributions to the field. Also, there are not enough women in this field. I I hope to change that by being a role model to young women everywhere who might be interested in it.
Programming, to me, represents a concept that I enjoy which is that you’re building something out of nothing, and you get to be creative with it. There are no limitations to what you can build with it, you just need to have imagination and creativity.
My favorite extracurriculars are Leo Club, The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, National Honors Society, Global Scholar Program, and Hope Squad. For fun, I like to travel to new places and hike."
Each scholarship applicant wrote an essay about how they plan to change the world with technology. Bhawana’s essay recognized that not every student has reliable internet access.
“Many families still don’t have access to the internet and no computer for their children to do homework for many reasons. Due to this fact, some student’s performance doesn’t match their potential... Some students in my school finish all their homework at school because they don't have anything to access the internet at home. This is unacceptable, therefore, I think schools should give each student a Chromebook that they can take home. They also need to make sure that every student has access to the internet to do their homework and learn about anything. I think this would impact student performances in a big way, especially students from low-income families who couldn't otherwise access the internet from home.”
Bhawana also told us about her goals for working in the Artificial Intelligence field. She wants to help ensure that AI is only used for good and focus on making AI into something that will increase efficiency in manufacturing, disaster response, and weather predictions that may impact those areas. She believes that AI can positively improve our economy and environment. She told the committee, “I want to be one of the leading innovators making AI help us be more efficient, and not letting it turn into a force of evil like many fear”. We can’t wait to follow her career and see how she helps create and improve Artificial Intelligence.