A 15-year-old Indian American teen has been selected by the White House for the prestigious Champions of Change award for empowering the community by imparting Internet coding through her non-profit organization. Swetha Prabakaran, whose parents immigrated from Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli in 1998, is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She hopes to continue inspiring young women to transform their future and the world.
Born in Indianapolis, Ind., Prabakaran is among 11 young women selected by the White House as “Champions of Change.” She is the founder and CEO of Everybody Code Now!, a non-profit body working to empower the next generation of youth to become engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs.
“Under Swetha’s direction, Everybody Code Now! has taught hundreds of students how to code and has raised thousands of dollars for STEM activities in schools,” the White House said.
“Her mentorship programs have transformed shy, young girls into confident students, community leaders and budding technologists,” the White House said in a statement.
In addition to her passion for science and computers, Prabakaran is an avid Bharatanatyam dancer; she did her Bharatanatyam arangetram — the debut on-stage performance of a classical art student after undertaking years of training — in Tirunelveli Aug. 2.
Her father, Prabakaran Murugaiah, is the founder and CEO of techfetch.com. He lives in Ashburn, Va., a suburb in Washington D.C.