First Name

Niharika

Last Name

V.

Bio

Niharika is a senior, aspiring policy maker, and computer science education enthusiast at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. In middle school, she taught herself how to code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and has enjoyed the opportunities at her school to continue developing her computer science skills through Foundations of Computer Science (Java) and through AP Computer Science plus Data Structures, culminating in a senior research lab in Mobile and Web Application Development. Beyond academics, Niharika is involved with policy making, advocacy, and nonprofit outreach to help teach computer science to K-12 students not just as a path to an engineering degree, but as a tool that they will need in all potential career paths. As the Student Representative to the Fairfax County School Board, Niharika represents over 188,00 students in the 10th largest school system in the nation and works to implement education policy that is better designed for the 21st century and is built upon a foundation of algorithmic thinking and programming skills that are vital for students to learn. As the founder of Teens Transforming Technology, Niharika has worked to bring computer science education to urban and low-income neighborhoods and has supported hackathons, summer camps, and yearlong after school programs to help students have more access to advanced computing skills. In school, Niharika is the Director of Internal Affairs for Coding Lady Colonials, a computing club at her school for female students - she designs the year-long curriculum for the group, oversees the CSterhood mentorship program for younger students in computer science, and organizes HackTJ, her school's annual hackathon that draws over 500 students from the D.C. Metro Area. She is an alumna of Girls Who Code's 2016 Summer Immersion Program at AOL Washington, D.C. after having been selected through a rigorous process. She is currently interning at the United States Naval Research Lab, working on original research at the intersection of machine learning and genomics. She has been honored as a Nominated Changemaker at the United State of Women Summit and was invited as a student and nonprofit representative to the White House Conference on Inclusive STEM Education for Youth of Color. Niharika plans to study computer science and economic development with a focus on public policy, so that she can work on government policy to create a more sustainable economy that relies more on computer science.