SVEC STEM Scholarship Award

2024 SVEC Education Award Winners – High School







Priyanka Karunakaran, Evergreen Valley High School

Priyanka is a senior at Evergreen Valley High School. She will be attending MIT in the Fall of 2024, where she plans on majoring in Computer Science and Business and minoring in public policy. Founder/Co-Captain of FTC Artemis 18715 and President of FRC Team 2854, she has spent much of her time in high school exploring engineering through FIRST Robotics, recognized as a FIRST Dean’s List Winner at the 2023 World Championships. Outside school, she is the First Author on Data Science Research in Healthcare at the Montefiore Medical Center, using LLMs, NLP, and Biostatistics. She is an aspiring entrepreneur who hopes to revolutionize the A.I. and robotics industry. An avid SWENexter of the Society of Women Engineers and Racial/ Social Equity Co-Lead of the District 4 San Jose Youth Commission , she also focuses on making STEM more accessible and less intimidating to underserved students both globally and locally reaching over 22 countries and 5600 students, empowering young women and neurodiverse students to follow their passions and reach their fullest potential. She hopes to use her own skills and passions to make a difference in the world and healthcare through engineering.



Nishka Sharma, Moreau Catholic High School

Nishka is a high school student from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, California. She is passionate about computer science and its applications to various fields. Nishka is the global lead of the Youth Parliament, a new committee at the United Nations Science Summit that organizes students from across the globe to speak on scientific issues and advancements. She is also a computational neuroscience researcher at Stanford University’s Schnitzer lab working on using AI to analyze dendritic spine images. As the CEO and founder of the Youth Mentorship Project, a 501(c)(3) global non profit, she aims to focus on providing mentorship to students on STEM related projects. Partnering with organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and Climate and Digital Education in Sierra Leone, she hopes to impact as many students as possible. She has created a platform, YMP Match, that provides students access to a mentorship network at an affordable cost. Nishka is software engineering manager at the Fair Opportunity Project, an EdTech organization that aims to provide students with college application help and especially financial aid. She has also participated in Apple’s Engineering and Technology Camp as 1 of 15 total students selected. Here she had the opportunity to present a product to Apple executives. Nishka is the president of the Girls Who Code and SWENext chapter at her high school, a Women in Data Science (WiDS) ambassador at Stanford, mobile app director on the Space Cookies (First Robotics Competition team), and a Stanford Seeds of Change participant. She has been honored with as a National Center for Women in Technology 2024 National Honorable Mention and Regional Winner.





Vivian Yang, Castro Valley High School

Vivian is a senior at Castro Valley High School. She works hard to be a role model for fellow women in STEM and hopes to inspire girls through her work and outreach as the Vice President of SWE at her school. Outside of STEM, Vivian is the President and co-founder of the Radiant Readers Club at school, which was also her Girl Scouts Silver Award project. Through the club, she enjoys reading to kids and leading volunteers to support literacy in local elementary schools. Vivian is also currently pursuing her Gold Award, in which she hopes to launch a company with her friends and partners in Engineering and Business. She plans to study Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration at a 4-year university and aspires to be a co-founder and CEO of a startup one day. Connect with Vivian on LinkedIn! viviany31






Amanda Zhang, Mountain View High School

Amanda is a senior at Mountain View High School. When she is not at school, she spends most of her time building cool robots with her FIRST Robotics Team, Space Cookies, as the software captain. In her community, she leads a few initiatives to support women in STEM, such as the recent AI in Career Fields panel she organized and hosted at her school. In her free time, Amanda likes to enjoy the outdoors through hikes, beach drives, and taking scenic photos.

SVEC High School Award 2025

Application Deadline is December 20, 2024.

Award Eligibility

The Silicon Valley Engineering Council Engineering Education awards recognize undergraduate engineering and technology students for their dedication, focus, and commitment to engineering. Engineering and Technology. The one-time award is $500 and students may receive an SVEC Education award only once.

Award Criteria

– The applicant should be studying in one of the following 8 counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz.

– The applicant’s program of study is directly focused towards engineering or technology.

– The applicant has shown involvement in STEM activities (e.g., engineering, science, math, computing, or technical organizations).

– The applicant has shown involvement in community and/or social services activities.

– The applicant has letters of recommendations from two adults: faculty, organizational leaders or club leaders who can speak to applicant’s activities and performance in the above areas.

– The student exhibits strong academic performance as shown by overall GPA as well as strong recommendations from teachers.

Granting of Awards

Awardees will be notified through e-mail by January 31, 2024, and will be awarded at the SVEC Engineers Week Banquet on February 20, 2024 at Delta Hotel by Marriott in Santa Clara. It is expected but not required that awardees attend the banquet. Each recipient and one companion will be SVEC guests.


If you have more questions, please send your inquiry to  Please put “SVEC Education Awards” in the email title.

Please do not input or upload documents showing private information such as social security number.

If you have more questions, please contact SVEC Scholarship/Education Committee

Yanika Schneider (SPE)

Please include “SVEC Education Awards” in the email subject line.

Complete the High School application here.

2023 SVEC Education Award Winners

Nolan Nguyen

Nolan Nguyen is the founder and president of the Designing With CAD Club at his school, teaching CAD and hosting projects to work toward his goal of spreading engineering throughout his community. He enjoys building things for his school, video edit- ing, gardening, and playing varsity tennis. His latest projects include 3D scanning the “Song of the Vowels” sculpture with photogrammetry, creating a realistic cardboard star wars helmet, building an indoor nursery, and learning other widely-used CAD software. He is interested in becoming a mechanical engineer and product designer.

Yifan Tong

Yifan Tong is a Class of 2023 senior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA. He is an aspiring tech entrepreneur who hopes to revolutionize the A.I. and robotics industry. Currently, he is working in Dr. Jiang’s BioRob lab at San Jose State University as a student research assistant. In his free time, he likes to listen to music and sing.

Daniel Siegel

Daniel Siegel is a senior at Palo Alto High School. For the past few years, Daniel has been developing accessibility technologies through his design studio, Plugged Projects ( His projects have included a sensor-enhanced probing cane for the visually impaired and a cephalopod-inspired prosthetic arm. Daniel’s designs emphasize low cost and ease of manufacturing. He is also a member of Jump Robotics, a robotics team he co-founded in 2019. Next fall, Daniel is planning to attend Santa Clara University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Ria Deshpande

Ria Deshpande is a senior at Dr. TJ Owen’s Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) and a part-time student at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California. She will graduate this May with an AS in Computer Programming and an AA in Natural Sciences. At a 4-year university, she hopes to study bioengineering with a specialization in medical devices, with the goal of one day design- ing accessible speech therapy technology for children with speech and cognitive disabilities. As someone who finds great joy in attending school and learning, she plans to attain her master’s in Speech-Language-Pathology through a CCC-SLP accreditation, followed by a Ph.D. Outside of academics, Ria is an avid reader, mug-baker and “foodie”. During her free time you’ll often spot her with friends and family, creating Pinterest vision boards, and experimenting with baking delicacies.

Emily Lu

Emily Lu is a senior at Saratoga High School. In her free time she works on cool robots with her teammates from 6165 MSET-Cuttlefish. She also likes to entertain her cat and pursue other personal projects like a parametric􏰣audio spot-light speaker and a vermicomposting bin (using worms to compost). She intends to major in electrical engineering and aspires to lead innovations in solar technology in hopes to shift away from fossil fuels.

Tanish Rao

Tanish Rao is currently a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory. He will be attending CalTech in the Fall of 2023, where he plans on majoring in Bioengineering and playing soccer. In his free time, Tanish enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, mountain biking, and playing sports.