The entire board of TechnovationMN extends our warmest congratulations to Anjali Donthi, who has just been recognized in her community with the Mayor’s Medal of Honor award. Anjali is among 13 recipients of this honor for her dedication and hard work in her community.
We asked Anjali a few questions about it, and here’s what she had to say.
- What does it mean to you to have won the Mayor’s Medal of Honor Award?
I’m extremely honored and thankful to have been nominated for this award and to have received it from Mayor Kim Norton! I’m grateful for my mentors, teammates, and my parents, as without them I would not be where I am today. This award has given me further encouragement to help my peers and the youth in our community get involved in STEAM related activities. I hope to be a role model and an inspiration to other people in our community to excel in their passions and aim for higher goals.
- Why do you participate in TechnovationMN and how do you think it has helped you with accomplishments like this?
I have been actively involved in TechnovationMN for the past five years and through that, I have been very involved in my community. I was selected to be a student representative for the SE TechnovationMN Board, and a Student Ambassador for the global program. As a student ambassador, I recruited my peers and other youth into TechnovationMN, and helped host several support/recruitment events to get more girls interested. I was happy to see many girls registering and enjoying their experience in computer science, which is the main reason I got involved in this! I also want to be able to give back to our community as much as I can; without the people in our community that I look up to, I would not be where I am today. TechnovationMN has helped me with achieving accomplishments like this since without it, I would not be as aware as I am now about the problems in my community. I probably would also not have gotten involved in helping to solve community issues as well. Using the knowledge and experiences I gained from TechnovationMN, I’ve also started a Women in Business and Technology Club at my school to teach girls how to code, write business plans, help them get connected with opportunities, support, and guidance.
- You were among some pretty amazing community members. What or who inspired you at the event?
One of the people who inspired me was Danielle Teal, who created CAKE, an online community group that engages in random acts of kindness. Last year, my TechnovationMN team developed an app to help the youth in our community maintain their positive mental health. Mental illness is a rising issue in our community and after learning more about mental illnesses and talking to people with it, I was able to see the true impact of it. Many times, even the smallest act of kindness can help make someone’s day and make a huge difference. This also inspires me to engage in more acts of kindness in my daily life.
- The news article said you were lured to the award ceremony under false pretenses — we have to ask, what did you think you were going there for?
I was definitely surprised when I found out what the event was and when they called my name when I got the award! My mentor and parents both told me that I was going to a technology event and that I was to give a speech about TechnovationMN to get more people involved. I had a small speech and everything ready as well!