We had the good fortune of connecting with Aishwarya Sudarshan, Priyanka Gupta, Tanaz Muhamed, and Navya Ramakrishnan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priyanka, Aishwarya, Tanaz, Navya, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
At SparkSTEM, we celebrate the smallest milestones. Whether it’s receiving a donation or adding a new member to our team, we believe that each step we take reflects our progress, crucial in our journey to success. With a positive mindset and grateful attitude, the SparkSTEM team appreciates every small endeavor that our organization makes!
Our community in DFW has been essential to our success, whether it’s signing up for our programs and activities or donating to our cause. Knowing that the people around us believe in us and are willing to work with us is a huge reason why we do what we do. The network in our area is truly heartwarming, and the constant support and encouragement that we receive keep us going. As a part of that community, we create, ideate, and collectively overcome obstacles all essential to our success. SparkSTEM wouldn’t be able to function without the dedication of our team and the interest of our community, and we are grateful that we’ve been able to give back by donating to local charities.
What should our readers know about your business?
SparkSTEM team is extremely proud of their immense interdepartmental collaboration. The organization is uniquely structured with four departments: Education, Science Fair, Operations, and Special Projects. However, achieving this level of structure of communication took some time.
Initially, the organization was incredibly disordered as there was no clear distinction between the many goals of SparkSTEM. To resolve this problem, we eventually decided to create the existing four departments. Each department would have an executive in charge, leading and guiding department coordinators and members to execute well-developed programs. We focus on implementing numerous programs such as Computer Science Programming Classes, Science Fair Mentorship Programs, projects for charity, and outreach as well as ensuring that all of these programs reach our target audience. By defining specific roles, SparkSTEM team members were able to use the best of their abilities in their respective departments, ultimately creating a strongly intertwined and hardworking group.
We started with a team of three founders and grew to a team with 30+ members, four departments, and hundreds of students impacted. Most of all, we look forward to expanding our impact in the future!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being a part of SparkSTEM has invigorated our passion for education. This past year, being confined mostly to our rooms at home, we have sought out new places to study and complete schoolwork. One of the best places in DFW to spend time working is Mudleaf Coffee, a small coffee shop with great, handcrafted drinks and the perfect ambiance to encourage focused learning. We also love spending the day in Downtown Plano, especially at the XO Coffee Company, where we always recommend the Nutella stuffed french toast. The delightful atmosphere at XO makes the experience even more enjoyable.
As for activities in the DFW area, some of our personal favorites include the Dallas Museum of Art, Klyde Warren Park, the Boardwalk at Granite Park, and Legacy West. The DMA is one of the foremost art museums in the country, with unique exhibits and meaningful pieces. We enjoy gazing at the pieces, learning more about history, and getting a quick bite to eat at the food trucks outside after! Conveniently, Klyde Warren Park is located near the DMA in downtown Dallas, making for a perfect place to spend a relaxing day. Along with fountains and sitting areas, the park features a huge expanse of green space where people can lie down, play sports, and spend time with their family and friends. Additionally, the Boardwalk at Granite Park, which is located in Plano, is a great place to have a meal! The waterside boardwalk provides a wonderful and scenic place to sit, and the restaurants and bars are nearby. Our personal favorites include Blue Mesa Grill, Edith’s French Bistro, and Golden Boy Coffee & Wine Bar. Finally, hanging out at Legacy West, whether to go shopping or to grab a bite to eat, is always a good time. When we spend the day at this cultural district, we enjoy a meal at North Italia, browse the shelves at Barnes and Noble, and purchase creative, modern stationery from Read Between the Lines. Even just strolling through the streets, window shopping, and taking pictures at Legacy West’s seasonal floral backdrops make for a great day. DFW is an amazing area with a ton of fun places to go!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our story wouldn’t exist without the founders of SparkSTEM. We dedicate our shoutout to the people who established our organization: Julia Camacho, Pranav Nathan, and Anirudh Sudarshan. As fellow students interested in the STEM field, they strived to bring together their love and knowledge for the improvement of the community through SparkSTEM. Their mission and values are the foundation of the organization, and their perseverance to make it a reality has impacted over 200 kids in the DFW area to explore STEM and be inspired by our organization. As our team continues to grow, we always continue to gain inspiration from the founders of SparKSTEM. They were an integral part of our organization and they created a legacy that we hope to pass on someday!