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Introducing the 2024-25 JuSTEMagine Board!

By: Siri Doddapaneni

Every March, JuSTEMagine undergoes a major change. While the “out with the old, in with the new” applies to the change between winter and spring, it also applies to the JuSTEMagine Board. JuSTEMagine’s high school student leadership team oversees all of JuSTEMagine’s partnerships, chapters, subcommittees, events, and more. JuSTEMagine’s 2024-25 board includes President & Director of SEL Siri Doddapaneni, Vice President & Director of Curriculum Meghna Adduri, Director of Technology Aubrey Nguyen, Director of Legislative Advocacy Fruzsina Roka, Editor-in-Chief of Imagining & Director of Social Media Ishika Desai, Director of ESports Keerthana Vinod, Director of Events Reeya Chundury, and Director of Art Adrishya Kumar. 

The 2024-25 President of JuSTEMagine is Siri Doddapaneni, a junior who attends Brownell Talbot School in Nebraska. Siri joined JuSTEMagine in the fall of her freshman year, where she began volunteering on the Social-Emotional Learning committee that works with the non-profit SPARK Positivity and served as the 2022-23 Director of SEL and 2023-24 Vice President. In her position as President, Siri leads board meetings, oversees the chapter system, and facilitates partnerships and externalities; as Director of SEL, she works with partner SPARK Positivity. “I’m excited to step into the role of president to become more involved in all aspects of JuSTEMagine as well as getting to lead this group of board members.” While STEM is a passion of hers, Siri wants to make JuSTEMagine’s SEL aspect more known around the active chapters and hopes to expand JuSTEMagine nationally and internationally to maximize its reach. Using her previous experiences in leadership and community service, Siri finds that staying true to the mission of JuSTEMagine is key when leading the organization. “I hope to use JuSTEMagine as a platform to make a true difference in the lives of students of all ages, not just elementary students, and continue to take the organization to new heights as all our presidents have done in the past.” Besides JuSTEMagine, Siri is involved in Science Olympiad, speech, and choir. 

JuSTEMagine 2024-25 Vice President, Meghna Adduri, is a junior at Millard North in Nebraska and joined JuSTEMagine as a volunteer in the curriculum committee during her freshman year. As Vice President, Meghna assists the President in overseeing JuSTEMagine’s operations, including checking in with chapters, representing JuSTEMagine at events, and meeting with new volunteers. “I applied for the JuSTEMagine board because serving on the board combines three of my biggest passions: STEM, leadership, and community service.” Besides VP, Meghna will also continue serving as the Director of Curriculum, where she leads the curriculum subcommittee which is responsible for developing hands-on STEM curriculum for Prairie STEM’s STEM kits. As part of the board, Meghna is excited to get involved with JuSTEMagine’s chapter system and efforts outside Nebraska and plans to work to expand JuSTEMagine as a whole. “JuSTEMagine’s mission resonates with me because in today’s world STEM is becoming more and more important in our day-to-day lives, and I think it is important to ensure that everyone has access to STEM.” Outside of JuSTEMagine, Meghna is interested in computer science and artificial intelligence and is currently working on a project to detect AI-generated deepfake images. 

The returning Director of Technology is Aubrey Nguyen, a junior who attends Duchesne Academy in Nebraska. Aubrey joined JuSTEMagine in the 2023-24 year, and as the Director of Technology, manages JuSTEMagine’s website and any ongoing technology projects. One such project that Aubrey manages is the app subcommittee, a group of JuSTEMagine volunteers who work with Prairie STEM on developing an app. “Currently, JuSTEMagine is pairing up with PrarieSTEM to create an app that will help people learn about eco-friendly practices. I hope to continue working on this.” Aubrey returned to the board this year as she believes volunteering with JuSTEMagine has been a great learning opportunity that has enabled her to use her passion for STEM to work with others and better her community. Besides STEM and technology, Aubrey also wishes to enhance the social-emotional aspect of the organization. “I've always loved STEM and think it's important for everyone to have the opportunities to explore STEM subjects, but I also think it's important to enhance SEL because it teaches people important life skills, such as managing their emotions, and effectively communicating with others.” Besides JuSTEMagine, Aubrey enjoys her computer science classes and participating in the math and science clubs at her school.

Ishika Desai, a junior at Pleasant Valley High School in Iowa, will be taking on the roles of Editor-in-Chief of the Imagining Publication and Director of Social Media. Ishika joined JuSTEMagine recently as the founder of the Bettendorf, Iowa chapter of JuSTEMagine, in which she leads an initiative that involves assembling STEM kits in Bettendorf and then shipping them to underprivileged students in India. "JuSTEMagine's mission resonates with me as it aligns with my personal mission to make educational opportunities accessible for all!" As Editor-in-Chief of the Imagining Publication, Ishika brainstorms story ideas and oversees the team of writers, and as Director of Social Media, is responsible for managing the main JuSTEMagine Instagram account and the Imagining account. Her goal is to make STEM and SEL education more widespread around her community in the hope that others around Iowa will be inspired to do the same. As for JuSTEMagine, Ishika is looking forward to working with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. "I want to introduce new types of articles to the publication to widen our content base and reach a larger audience!" Outside of JuSTEMagine, Ishika is involved in robotics and enjoys mentoring local FIRST Lego League teams.

The Director of ESports is Keerthana Vinod, a junior who attends Millard North High School in Nebraska. Keerthana initially joined JuSTEMagine as a volunteer for the curriculum committee and applied for the board as she wanted to take on a bigger role and use her technological skills for the benefit of the organization. As Director of ESports, Keerthana is in charge of planning and executing ESports events and activities in partnership with Prairie STEM, including Esports tournaments. Keerthana has also hosted multiple STEM events to introduce a variety of students to different fields in STEM and is passionate about promoting inclusivity in them. “I believe this organization is doing a phenomenal job of providing STEM opportunities to a diverse range of students, and I want to do all I can to help in this mission.” This year, Keerthana is looking forward to working with the other board members and facilitating change as a group. As for ESports, she shared “ I hope to start up more ESports events in JuSTEMagine itself. Apart from the ESports tournaments hosted by Prarie STEM, I hope to host more local events sponsored by JuSTEMagine, such as seminars for those curious about ESports and their role in STEM.” Outside of JuSTEMagine, Keerthana enjoys taking her computer science and coding classes and leading her school’s Women in STEM club.

The new Director of Legislative Advocacy is Fruzsina Roka, a junior at Brownell Talbot School in Nebraska. As Director of Legislative Advocacy, Fruzsina’s primary duty is to manage and set up the Nebraska Advocacy Conference which involves emailing senators, selecting a legislative bill to advocate for, and planning training sessions, as well as assisting any of JuSTEMagine’s chapters with their advocacy efforts, using their previous experiences to make a positive difference. “I’ve always loved to advocate on subjects I’m passionate about, from writing essays about the importance of theatre in our schools to marshaling my school’s staff to prevent unnecessary bird strikes on campus windows by implementing UV stickers.” Fruzsina is new to JuSTEMagine but stepped up to a board position as it was the perfect intersection of their two passions: law and STEM. “Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to understand why the world worked instead of simply taking things at face value. Especially in our rapidly changing world, it is integral that today’s youth learn to think critically and understand how our world works to foster creativity and innovation. As such, I’m happy to lend my help to JuSTEMagine if it means exposing more children to the inner workings of the world.” This year, Fruzsina is looking forward to working with other like-minded individuals to solve problems in the community as well as expanding JuSTEMagine’s advocacy reach. Outside of JuSTEMagine, Fruzsina participates in robotics and works a job where they teach coding languages to young children. 

The new Director of Events is Reeya Chundury, an eighth grader at Brownell Talbot School in Nebraska. While Reeya is new to JuSTEMagine, she has experience volunteering at community health fairs and is the co-founder of a nonprofit, Eye on July, which promotes eye safety for Nebraskans. “I applied for a position at JuSTEMagine because I am interested in STEM and thought that I would bring a lot to the board. I believe that being organized and creative, which are some traits I have, are great for directing events.” As Director of Events, Reeya is responsible for creating, planning, and hosting JuSTEMagine’s in-person and virtual events so they run smoothly, as well as assisting other chapters in organizing their events. Reeya specifically applied to be the Director of Events as she wants to watch other students grow in STEM environments and offer more opportunities in STEM and SEL for students who don’t have access to them. “I’m hoping to incorporate diversity into JuSTEMagine’s mission, especially because it’s important to me. I also believe that AI, which is growing in many other organizations alike JuSTEMagine, could benefit us a lot.” Outside of JuSTEMagine, Reeya participates in robotics and Science Olympiad and enjoys taking advanced math classes at school.

Stepping up to fill a relatively new position, the Director of Art, is Adrishya Kumar, an eighth grader at Brownell Talbot School in Nebraska. While being new to JuSTEMagine, Adrishya has volunteered at homeless shelters and has many experiences and accolades in theatre, music, and dance. In her position, Adrishya embraces the concept of STEAM and organizes art events, promotes art in the STEM community, and works with JusticeMurals, JuSTEMagine’s art partner. “I think that it’s important to encourage people, especially children to believe in themselves and in their abilities. Personally, I am more right-brained and creative, so I initially believed that STEAM wasn’t for me and I didn’t believe in myself. Later, I learned that STEAM can be for everyone if you are encouraged enough by the people around you. This is why I think that JuSTEMagine’s mission is incredibly important in today’s world. It’s crucial to teach people to believe in themselves no matter the obstacles that they may face.” Adrishya is looking forward to elaborating on her personal experiences by working with younger children and guiding them to the benefits of STEAM while also incorporating her love for visual arts into the picture. “Something that I would like to do during my time on the board is to create a weekly art calendar/highlight. This idea sounded very intriguing when I first heard about it and I think that I would really enjoy putting a spotlight on the “art” aspect of STEAM.” Besides JuSTEMagine, Adrishya enjoys building contraptions, Science Olympiad, and taking part in art competitions.

The Board also includes Co-Founder, former President, and Advisor Jack Cenovic, former President and Advisor, Claire Cenovic, and former President and Advisor, Francesca Vidal. "Each year, new members of the Board add new perspectives and ideas to our mission, allowing JuSTEMagine to diversify and become an even stronger, more expansive organization. I am excited to see the 2023-2024 Board’s new ideas, projects, and events. I hope to watch JuSTEMagine grow and thrive. By adding new projects and events to our already large palette of outreach, we will be able to reach even more cities, countries, and children, making our impact a great one." said Claire.

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