She is just sixteen, and she has already raised $200,000, reached over 15,000 underprivileged girls worldwide, and donated the amount to about 55 schools in India to provide books, computers, science lab equipment, and digital boards. Meet STEM (Science Technology and Math) All Stars founder Sajni Vederey, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia.
There are so many incredible South Asian kids in the US that are doing so many amazing things for the betterment of humanity. Sajni Vederey grew up in the United States as a first-generation Indian-American is one of them. She founded STEM All Stars, an international nonprofit organization that is committed to breaking gender differences and barriers for girls in STEM education and challenging stereotypes by organizing STEM competitions, clubs, and events around the world.
STEM All Stars, is an international nonprofit organization, which is investing in digital boards, computers and the construction of a new library for underprivileged children in rural India, as part of its mission to spread STEM awareness and empower girls around the world to pursue careers in science, technology and math (STEM).
Sajni talked to DissDash about her journey, which started in the summer of 2015 when she began collecting funds and inviting grants. “It is like a program that gives money to whoever wants to create a positive impact in the community,” she explains. Sajni goes to India every summer and over the spring break to launch clubs and promote her nonprofit.
So, how did Sajni even get into something like this and where did this idea come across to her to start this nonprofit?
Her story is fascinating. Sajni Vederey visited India in her 9th grade and started volunteering in a school that was near her grandmother’s home in Andhra Pradesh. That school, she discovered, lacked even the basic infrastructure and facilities. She had started going there just for fun as she did not have anything better to do, but soon realized that there were a good number of students that did not even know what Google is. Moreover, Sajni gradually started understanding that children are developing a sense of gender identity at an early age. Therefore, she decided to break stereotypes about girls and STEM by organizing competitions, events, and clubs to encourage girls and spread awareness about her project.
And where does Sajni see her organization in the next five years?
“I definitely want to reach a bigger audience and launch more clubs!” she says. Sajni has big dreams; she wants to reach other countries in Africa and hopes to continue her work even when she is in college and throughout the rest of her career. “I really like traveling around the world, meeting people. It is very encouraging to me to meet these (underprivileged) people and help them out. It is very satisfying.” Sajni sounds confident and happy.
We wish you all the very best, Sajni and hope that you and your cause continue to get support from around the globe!