Her Spark asks Samya Potlapalli, high school senior and Technovation student ambassador, Five Questions. Here’s what she had to say!
Q1: Who is your favorite female role model and why?
Ann Druyan, screenwriter for the original “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” show, is my favorite female role model. She helped bring about an age of genuine interest and belief in science. She is an expert at communicating complex ideas, demonstrating her mastery of subject material. Ann is a pioneer in the STEM industry and has motivated me to continue to pursue my dream of working in the field.
Q2: What are you reading right now? Or what’s next on your reading list?
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is next on my reading list. It's a story about the moral codes the science community is willing to break in order to save lives.
Q3: What’s the best career or academic advice you ever received?
I didn’t realize until high school that asking for help is incredibly important. It’s stressful to ask a question in class if you’re afraid that your question doesn’t sound intelligent. When I was taking upper-level high school STEM classes, my participation resulted in me earning higher grades. I chose to not be afraid of asking questions because I knew that every question I asked influenced my understanding of the subject.
Q4: How has Her Spark inspired you?
It's easy to succumb to the idea that men are better at technology careers when there aren’t as many women entering the STEM industry. Her Spark’s mission is meaningful to me because it encourages young girls to have faith and confidence in their abilities. I wouldn't be able to mentor Technovation teams had I not participated in Her Spark’s programs. Her Spark showed me that I am capable of pursuing my dream of becoming a leader in the STEM industry.
Q5: What is your favorite part of Summer Summit? If you haven’t attended before, what are you looking forward to the most?
I still remember how exciting it was to pitch my first app idea to a panel of judges at Summer Summit. The judges’ opinions meant a lot to me because I wanted to have a technology career like them. They provided feedback on my app’s design and offered insight as to how I could target the app to a specific audience. This advice played an instrumental role in how I chose to design my Technovation app prototype.
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About Her Spark
Founded in 2017 by professional women and business leaders, Her Spark is dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers. Her Spark’s mission is to equip girls with the skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow. For more information, to learn ways to get involved or to make a donation, please visit HerSpark.org.