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  • She Says

Pooja Chandrashekar – STEM Superwoman at 17!

  • JWB Post
  •  April 13, 2015

Senior of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Pooja Chandrashekar’s got a 4.57 grade-point average, scored a 2390 (out of 2400) on the SAT, and aced all 13 of her Advanced Placement exams. She also founded a national nonprofit organization that encourages middle-school girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. She’s also developed a mobile app that analyzes speech patterns and predicts with 96 percent accuracy if a person has Parkinson’s disease.

She has done all of this being a 17 years old girl.

Pooja said that she decided to apply to all eight Ivies hoping to get into just one of them, “because college admissions is really unpredictable.”

“They are all fantastic schools, so I couldn’t discount any of them,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I could get into a really good school and have more choices.”

She’s narrowed her list to Harvard, Stanford and Brown, where she got into a program that guarantees her admission to the university’s medical school.

“She really stands out as a TJ kid who has taken the mission of the school as far as it can go,” said Principal Evan Glazer. “She’s a STEM superwoman who humbly approached her interests in curious ways.”

Pooja said to Washington Post that what sets her apart is her passion for promoting STEM among young girls. Her nonprofit ProjectCSGirls hosts nationwide computer science competitions, “dedicated to closing the tech gender gap,” according to its Web site.

She wrote one of her college application essays about being a woman interested in a career in computer science, a field long dominated by men. She said she’s often one of just a handful of girls in her high school technology classes.

“I want to encourage diversity in the field,” she said.

Born in Potomac Falls, Pooja is the only child of two engineers who immigrated to the United States from Bangalore.

Source: Washington Post

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