From a young age Laalitya has always been fascinated by the concept of "making a mark on the world", whether that was through mentorship, her own research or simply advocating on behalf of herself and others - she truly believes in the power of a single person to change the world. Now as a student researcher and activist at Columbia University, she wants to work on integrating STEM and policy together to make an impact. With a biomedical engineering major and a minor in political science, she is working with both her hometown, as well as the local NYC area to help integrate these two seemingly unrelated (but in reality quite related) fields. She has interned for the US Congress Congressional Program and for Majority Leader Senator Schumer where she is already working on this goal! She was also named as a Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Finalist and was the first student from her school to ever be honored with this title. In addition. she is a Coca-Cola Scholar, winning this title as the top 0.01% of the ~100,000 initial applicants due to her work in STEM activism. She has been a finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), Project Paradigm Challenge, a national finalist at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), won first place at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), is a gold medalist at the Genius Olympiad, and has had her research be published. Lastly, she has been named as a Global Teen Leader, Melvin Scholar, Congressional Gold Medal Award, and a Burger King Scholar for her research and activism within the water community. She hopes to continue to make an impact on her college and local community by continuing her activism through Engineers Without Borders, Columbia Democrats, the Columbia Society of Women Engineers, and Columbia Biomedical Engineers Society. In addition, she is mentoring students from all across the country to help them on their own scientific journeys. On her breaks at home from college, she is also working with local school districts to help further implement STEM curriculums. While she is still only a teenager, she is optimistic and hopeful to see where the future takes her!
- 2022 NationalWinner
- 2022 NationalFinalist