Bhageria receives national service recognition


Swati Bhageria

PLUGGED IN. Girls Who Code engages with students at E. H. Greene, teaching computer science. Junior Swati Bhageria started a chapter of the club this year to address the gender disparity in computer science. Working with younger kids is just one component of Bhageria’s community service work.

  Serving the community is an inherently selfless act, yet it rarely leaves the volunteer unaffected. Junior Swati Bhageria has clearly felt this in her own life, going above and beyond in her dedication to service.

  Recently, Bhageria was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

  For the presidential award, Bhageria had to volunteer for a minimum of 250 hours and write about the impact of those activities. Winners were selected based on the applications of students who met the qualifications. Bhageria had over 450 hours.

  One way she serves is through her club, Girls Who Code, which was started this year.

  “[The club] was started…to solve a pretty big problem–the fact that, at Sycamore, there’s a huge gap between the number of females versus males involved in computer science,” Bhageria said.

  While the chapter was initially started at the high school, members soon began going to the Junior High School and E. H. Greene Intermediate School to teach younger students.

  “By now, we’ve established tech clubs with Girls Who Code clubs within them at both [middle] schools, and we go every week to teach things like Microbit (which is essentially a circuit), coding, and anything else they want to learn,” Bhageria said.

  Bhageria started working with computer science in sixth and seventh grade after hearing about its importance in today’s society, and she has only gotten more interested since. Yet, this is far from the only way she serves.

   She also volunteers at her local library, helping to organize many of the events held there and working on everyday tasks, and works with Matthew 25 Ministries regarding humanitarian relief.

  “The main reason I volunteer is, at the end of the day, to help others and to stay humble. I get caught up in my ‘problems’ of having a B in a class, and volunteering reminds me that there are people with much bigger problems. I feel much better by helping these people,” Bhageria said.