what is our goal?
As reported by a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, over 34 percent of students diagnosed with autism tend to gravitate towards STEM careers and interests. Compared to the 23 percent found among the general education, students on the spectrum exhibited more interest and aspired to work in the field long term. Unfortunately, although the interest persists, the opportunities for them to pursue their interest are lacking as they are still one of the most underrepresented communities in STEM Majors. Living in the Bay Area, one of the most technologically advanced places in the world, we were perplexed to find that many Bay Area students in special education programs lack simple means to a strong education, the most shocking being that they had never experienced STEM activities. It was for this very reason that Young Inquisitive Minds was founded. By 2024, we hope to work with every student with special needs in Bay Area, California.
meet the team
Nithila Poongovan President and Co-founder
As the President, she organizes the events, prepares robotic activities and oversees both global and local operations. Leveraging her broad knowledge in coding and robotics, she is responsible to create the Engineering and Technology lesson plans. Nithila is a junior at Santa Clara High School. She is interested in everything AI and aspires to build robotic assistive technology for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of her hobbies includes FIRST robotics and cross-country running.
Meghana Repaka President and Co-founder
Meghana is one of the presidents and co-founder of Young Inquisitive Minds. She designs all events and course curriculum, while providing overall financial oversight/budget management. She is responsible of arranging meetings and tailor the communication to fit local audience requirements. Meghana is a junior at Lynbrook High School. Some of her hobbies include Indian Classical Dance and Art. With her acquired knowledge in volunteering with kids of all ages, she hopes to interact, teach and also learn more with the children of her community.
Kaitlyn Butcher Local Outreach Coordinator
Kaitlyn Butcher is one of the Outreach Coordinators for Young Inquisitive Minds. As an Outreach Coordinator, her role is to reach out to local organizations to arrange community programs that foster curiosity in STEM-fields. She is currently a sophomore at Santa Clara High. In her spare time she enjoys playing competitive soccer, running track, coding, and volunteering with the American Red Cross.
Thomas Mathew Local Outreach Coordinator
Thomas is one of the the Outreach Coordinators of Young Inquisitive minds.. His job is to contact local officials and organizations in order to arrange programs at their facilities. Outside of the nonprofit, he is a part of his high school track team and robotics team. In his free time, he likes to twist balloon animals.
Ein Hong Public Relations
Ein Hong is a freshman at Santa Clara High School and a Public Relations Coordinator at Young Inquisitive Minds. She is interested in career fields involving marketing and management and is a part of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute. She has also worked with children of various ages through volunteering at organizations and is a part of the outreach subgroup in her robotics team. Through Young Inquisitive Minds, Ein hopes to guide and learn from the youth in her community.
Angel Rala Public Relations
Angel is one of the Public Relations Coordinators of Young Inquisitive Minds and a Freshman at Santa Clara High School. She is interested in Science and Engineering. and is very involved in Badminton at school. She loves to take part in hands on engineering activities and loves building devices to help common diseases.
Sahana Moogi Treasurer
Sahana is the Treasurer for Young Inquisitive Minds! She is responsible for managing donations, reviewing the budget with Meghana, and helping with scholarship funding along with Nithila. She has a passion for helping her community and music. She is also a part of her school orchestra and marching band, while also playing the piano outside of school. She is excited to be a part of Young Inquisitive Minds and help the organization grow!
Archana Mucharla Marketing & Advertisement
Archana is in charge of advertising for Young Inquisitive Minds. Archana oversees aspects of marketing for the organization by creating promotional content development. Archana is a junior at Monta Vista High School. Her two favorite hobbies are public speaking and art— both of which she uses as an outlet for her prolific ideas. She also loves traveling, earth tones, and carefully curated spotify playlists.