On the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, MPOWER Financing launched our new Women in STEM Scholarship Program. In keeping with our commitment to empower high-potential global citizens to realize their educational aspirations – and to become tomorrow’s leading scientists and innovators – we designed this scholarship program to focus on women who will use their STEM degree to benefit society and the planet and who have the potential to serve as role models and advocates for women in STEM.
Since our scholarship announcement on February 11, we received 279 applications and were overwhelmed by the quality of the responses. We were so overwhelmed, in fact, that we decided to expand the number of awards for the next round and to award an extra honorable mention scholarship for this one!
Read on for the impressive profiles of our winners!
Grand Prize: Arunima Sen, NYU Engineering Student
At just 17, Sen is the youngest recipient ever of an MPOWER scholarship – but that’s not the only distinction this young woman holds. She is also one of just six individuals – and the only female – to receive the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement), the highest civilian honor for Indian citizens under the age of 18.
Sen was also selected to participate in the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy, a selective online research program for high school students interested in STEM. Within the program, she developed an energy-efficient, solar-hybrid bus and a smart green building with zero carbon footprint. She presented these projects in New York and Florida to global leaders in STEM, including Nobel Laureates and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
Sen will use her scholarship to pursue an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University.
“I feel extremely honored to have been chosen for this award,” Sen says. “As the first woman in STEM in my family, this award means a lot to me and I hope to contribute more toward STEM in the future.”
Honorable Mention: Iris Braunstein, Harvard Medical Student
Braunstein already has an illustrious and varied career behind her, but is ready to embrace a new challenge. While she’s pursuing a Master of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School, Braunstein aims to develop and scale artificial intelligence and informatics tools to enable precision medicine, with an emphasis on clinical oncology.
“This Master’s program will extend my agility as a product manager,” she says. “This will enable me to manage teams with clinical, technical, and design expertise more thoughtfully, while sharpening my intuition for what is possible and meaningful.”
Braunstein, who hails from Canada, led a global strategy and market research program at IBM Watson Health. Previously, as a management consultant in precision medicine joint ventures at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, she built a decision-support model that was used by the United Nations to respond to the Ebola crisis.
“I’m grateful for MPOWER’s generous support of my education in Biomedical Informatics,” Braunstein says. “The full potential of this promising and rapidly evolving field is difficult to imagine today; however, I’m looking forward to discovering and building it!”
About MPOWER Financing
MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices in New York City and Bangalore, India, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and U.S. credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with more than 350 top universities and colleges across the nation to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received close to $1B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after college. The team is backed by Gray Matters Capital, Breega, Potencia Ventures, Zephyr Management, Goal Structured Solutions, 1776, Village Capital, VARIV, DreamIt, Fresco, Chilango, K Street Capital, and University Ventures, as well as funds managed by Lloyd Crescendo Advisors and Community Investment Management.