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Prof. Veena Sahajwalla addressed students from multiple high school students in Sydney on 27 August 2022 at an event where not for profit Pratham Australia also facilitated a fundraising workshop.
Hosted by DLA Piper at their Sydney offices, students from high schools around Sydney (including Ascham School, Cranbrook School, Cherrybrook Technology High School, Ravenswood School for Girls, Rose Bay Secondary College, St Leo’s, Mosman High School , SCEGGS Darlinghurst and Meriden School gathered to listen to Professor Veena passionate account of her own journey and her projects in STEM.
She talked about the exciting interaction of science and business, how important collaboration is in influencing change, the role microfactories can play in creating localised employment and empowering women around the world, the mentality needed to go about solving what seem like ‘impossible’ problems, and the value of pursuing a career which both your head and heart are into.
The teenagers threw up a really interesting array of questions thick and fast, with Prof. Veena answering topics about what her typical working day looks like, how long she studied for (she is a life learner) and what inspired her to have this much passion for the career she is pursuing. She reflected on how her early life in Mumbai shaped her future career in sustainability and science.
Pratham said: "While we inspired our next generation in Australia, net proceeds from this workshop will ensure 2 more girls will join Pratham’s Second Chance program, getting the chance to finish high school in India, gain better employment and begin to crave their pathway out of poverty.
"The board of Pratham would like to express their sincere gratitude to DLA Piper, especially Partner Gitanjali Bajaj for hosting this event at their premises, meaning that maximum funds could be funneled to this important cause. Busy professionals giving up parts of their precious weekend to inspire the next generation is an incredible effort."
Pratham in one of the largest non-government organisations in India's education sector. It used low-cost, high value, scalable methods. It works in partnership with government and community stakeholders to vastly improve the quality of education for underprivileged children and youth in India. Pratham's mission is to ensure "Every child in school and learning well" Pratham Australia, a volunteer driven organisation, raises awareness and mobilises financial resources for Pratham's work on the ground.