As an idealistic 9th grader, Snigdha thought inadequate education, and lack of a science class, were the most urgent situations facing students in high crime neighborhoods in the bay area. Approaching several local principals, Snigdha was given the green light for bringing the science she loved to elementary students in disadvantaged schools. For two months she taught the students, but was a stranger to their real stories. Snigdha's moment of truth came on a day when the school went into lock down mode. For these 10 yr olds in California's bay area, lock down had become routine. That day Snigdha realized these kids survive every day in a world filled with fear, chaos and uncertainty. But this did not stop them from dreaming big. In a lesson outsized for her years, Snigdha learned that self-confidence is a powerful force that can change student's choices, as she takes us through the founding of Science For Future (www.scienceforfuture.com).
Snigdha is a social justice advocate, community leader, and aspiring physician. She is a Coca Cola Scholar and Elks Scholar. The non-profit she founded, Science For Future, has enabled high schoolers to teach science classes to 600 low-income elementary students throughout California. She has also led the construction of a Medical Mobile Unit for displaced and homeless individuals in San Diego. Snigdha plans to continue empowering others through education and improved health as a first year student in the combined BA/MD program at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine this fall.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx