A month ago, I was given the wonderful opportunity to conduct an interview with Marshall Scholarship winner, S.H.I.N.E founder, and MIT graduate Kirin Sinha. I can’t say I wasn’t impressed from that long list of accomplishments alone; however, her presence was always warm, humble, and inviting throughout the whole interview.
After getting acquainted, the interview began.
“How were you like as a child?”
She paused for a second, and told me “Very early in my life, my parents noticed I was shy, so they enrolled me in dance. Dancing was my first love. It helped me get out of my shell because the whole point of dancing is to stand out. Dance gave me the confidence to do math.”
As Kirin grew up, she would start to prosper in mathematics. In high school she:
-Placed in the individual top 10 national mathematics competitions including ARML
-Was the highest scoring female in her state’s American Mathematics Competition and American Invitation Mathematics Examination
-Graduated in 3 years
After Kirin graduated high school, she enrolled at MIT where she triple majored in Applied Mathematics, Advanced Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering. Kirin was one of the forty people in the United States to earn the Marshall Scholarship (an award that covers the full expenses to pursue a graduate degree in the UK), and will now pursue two master degrees at the University of Cambridge, one in Advance Computer Science and in Applied Mathematics.
I was immediately blown away, so, not surprisingly, the next burning question I had was,
“How were you able to accomplish so much in such a short span of time?”
Her reply would resonate with me forever.
“If you are doing something you like doing, it is never seen as work. I like what I’m doing, so I never see it as work.”
It is very apparent Kirin can do whatever her heart desires. That being so, there came a point in her life where she needed to retreat. She went to Italy and studied at a Convent for a summer where she had no one but herself. It was there the idea of S.H.I.N.E was born. S.H.I.N.E is a program about supporting, harnessing, inspiring, nurturing, and empowering middle school girls to learn math by building their confidence through dance. During the program, a group of girls attend an 8-week session learning new dances while solving math puzzles. Kirin decided to focus on middle school girls because after conducting research, she noticed that around middle school is the time when girls are not interested in math anymore, or gave up on themselves due to a number of reasons.
Kirin and her fellow mentors see the fear being shed and the confidence growing in the girls participating in S.H.I.N.E. The program has been implemented in the Boston-Cambridge school system and already New York City is interested in bringing S.H.I.N.E to their public school system. When Kirin goes abroad to study at Cambridge University in England next fall, she will implement S.H.I.N.E in the UK educational system as well.
Personally, I could easily see Kirin is on another level. I was fiercely inspired by her wit, spirit and presence. She is someone to watch out for; she will continue to contribute to changing the face of STEM.