Jade, tell me a little about yourself!
I am from Long Island, New York. I’m majoring in chemical engineering. I love drawing, reading, and I run track for the NCAA Division 1 team here at Georgia Tech. I actually walked onto the team and officially signed on in December and I’ll be running the 5k, 6k, and the cross country race in the Fall. I am on the Board of Chabad. I’m very involved with the Jewish community on campus. I have volunteered all over the world and am very passionate about philanthropy and volunteering my time.
Why did you decide to apply to Georgia Tech?
I actually decided in 10th grade that I wanted to become a chemical engineer. I loved chemistry and felt that I could make a difference in such a flexible field. I applied to Georgia Tech with no intention of attending, but when I visited I fell in love with the campus. I knew Georgia Tech gave me the opportunity to get the best education and the furthest development in life.
What attracted you to the Grand Challenges Program?
I have actually always had a passion for water purification. After volunteering at a village in Nicaragua, I started my own charitable organization called Be Part of the Change in the World. The organization raised money to buy needed and desired supplies for the village, which was actually sports equipment! Once that started rolling, I realized there was so much that I wanted to do. I’ve always had a big passion for water purification. I discovered how the Grand Challenges program made an impact in that sector and I wanted to be part of that campaign. Grand Challenges presented me with a diverse way of thinking that I could apply to any platform in order to propel my ideas.
What is your current project in Grand Challenges?
My project is in water purification. Currently my team is working to improve the communication infrastructure within the water district ministry in Malawi. We wanted to create a network that allowed the ministry to contact the villages and other NGOs in the area in order for funds to be properly distributed. Eventually we hope to create a data retrieval base for maintenance purposes, so the skills and knowledge to keep up funded projects are not lost. On the ground, we have a government contact that really helps us understand what is going on in the community so our solution is not so far removed, as some “solutions” tend to be.
What is your most fond memory of the Grand Challenges program?
Definitely the white water rafting trip during our Fall retreat! There were some hilarious pictures of me that were taken and they’re actually hanging in Alison’s office. I loved meeting people and just experiencing the sheer craziness of people falling out the raft. It was an amazing chance for me to meet my fellow Grand Challengers and take a break from Tech work.
What advice would you give to incoming first-years that want to apply to the program?
Apply to the program! If you’re passionate about something, anything, apply! Be yourself and discover who you are and what you can contribute and gain from the community.