NEW YORK – STEM All Stars, an international nonprofit organization, has spent $50,000 on 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.
“As a girl, learning the magic of science, technology and math empowered me to dream big. It’s important for children to learn how to use emerging technologies, such as computers, phones and tablets. STEM All Stars believes that it is paramount for girls to receive STEM education to succeed in society,” said founder Sajni Vederey, who is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, in a statement accompanying a press release.
STEM All Stars has donated 25 digital boards and 100 computers to 21 underprivileged schools in India, of which 19 are in the state of Andhra Pradesh, near Hyderabad and one is in the state of Telengana, while the other is in the state of Kerala.
In addition, STEM All Stars broke ground this spring on the construction of a new library in the village of Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh and stocked it with books revolved around STEM subjects such as computer science, math and biology.
Vederey visited the library from March 29 to April 1, 2018, to deliver the donations.
In December 2017, Vetukuri Venkata Siva Rama Raju, a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, donated $50,000 to STEM All Stars through a grant in the Corporate Social Responsibility program, a funding and granting process in India for nonprofits that want to make a positive impact on the living standards of economically poor and disadvantaged people.
“STEM All Stars is deeply grateful to the important support we have received from Mr. Siva Rama Raju. We will be able to directly invest in the futures of young children in Andhra Pradesh by strengthening the curriculum of the schools with more STEM education,” Vederey said.
Growing up as a first-generation Indian-American in the United States, Vederey noticed gender stereotypes throughout society where she heard things like: “Girls are bad at math” and “Girls are bad at engineering.”
So when she visited India in the summer of 2015, she started volunteering at a school near her grandmother’s home in Andhra Pradesh.
“The number of students who did not know about Google was shocking,” she exclaimed.
Vederey then decided to start a nonprofit to introduce the STEM curriculum to children and break stereotypes about girls and STEM.
So she founded STEM All Stars in August of 2015 and today, it has reached over 15,000 girls worldwide, 55 schools in India and raised a total of $200,000.