16-year-old Among Those Selected For Michelle Obama’s Student Advisory Board


A 16-year-old high school senior from Virginia is among students selected by First Lady Michelle Obama to serve in the inaugural Student Advisory Board of an education campaign to provide educational opportunities for teenagers in America. Founder and CEO of Everybody Code Now!, a non-profit working to empower the next generation of youth to become engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, Swetha Prabhakaran, is the only Indian-American among the 17 students selected by the White House to serve on the Better Make Room Student Advisory Board. The inaugural Board has 12 high school students and five college students.

A trained Bharata Natyam dancer, the Indianapolis-born Prabhakaran, was chosen for Better Make Room campaign’s Student Advisory Board in recognition of her efforts to educate youth in the field of computer sciences, a White House press release said.

She was also honored as a 2015 White House Champion of Change and was named in the International Literacy Association’s 2016 ‘30 Under 30’.


“I am deeply honored to be able to serve on this board,” a Press Trust of India Report quoted Prabhakaran as saying. “Creating a college-going and college-graduating culture among youth is something we have worked to encourage through Everybody Code Now!, and I am extremely excited to share this passion with even more students,” the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology student added.

“As proven leaders, organizers, changemakers, and innovators, these students will help the country achieve President (Barack) Obama’s North Star goal, that our nation will once again lead the world in college completion rates,” Better Make Room said in a statement.

Founded by the First Lady, the board aims to create a college-going, college-persisting and college-graduating culture at their schools while connecting fellow students for any information and resources they need.