My name is Maya Ramaswamy. I’m a burgeoning biomedical engineer with a deep passion for combining analytical and creative thinking skills to meaningfully improve society. I believe strongly in the value of cultivating greater empathy, and I strive to integrate it into everything I do, from leadership and educational opportunities to the process of creative design. Throughout my high school career, I’ve pursued opportunities to flex my skills in creative design.
I’m part of several science and engineering clubs at New Trier High School, including robotics, SWEETS, Biology Club, and G-Force. On the creative side of things, I’ve been creating diverse art for years and I also helped promote local art from South India. Besides that, I play the piano and enjoy inventing new recipes. I’m a prolific writer and journalist and an editor for the school newspaper. Finally, I also seem to have caught the bug for teaching. I’ve created several study guides, flashcards, and videos for complex ideas in physics, chemistry, and biology that have helped my classmates. I spent my sophomore year as a tutor for Algebra II, and I currently tutor at my high school’s academic tutoring center. This summer I’ll be teaching kids in rural parts of India that don’t have access to a strong education as part of an internship program The program has given me free rein to design my own teaching material, and I can't wait to use my curriculum to provide enrichment for my summer students in India.
My childhood summers spent with family in India were deeply formative to who I am now. Of the wonderful memories from those trips, none stand out as much as the nights when my grandmother would cook my great-grandmother's recipes, the rest of us gathered around the aromatic kitchen listening to my great-grandmother share stories and life lessons. Last year, my mom and her sister decided to publish a book of my great-grandmother’s recipes on the eve of her 98th birthday and I helped them as a copy-editor and artwork designer. That inspired me to do this project, which I’ve called “Recipe4Life”, where we create recipe cards of simple vegetarian foods that any teenager can learn to make, inspired by my recipes from my family (and I hope others’ too!). Each card will also have some life lessons that have been passed to me from my family, teachers, and leaders I’ve met over the years. The card will also have a fun conversation starter question in the back. I’m now trying to make this as a kitchen-table conversation starter game and am experimenting with 3D-design and printing for a nice box to store the cards in. I think inviting other teens to create these cards with us will help bring the special relationships in my family to others, giving a fun way to put away the phones and grow closer, all around the making of good food.