Prachi is the Founder and CEO of SmartyPans Inc., a company she founded out of her passion for Food Science, Health, and Nutrition. While in college, Prachi traveled halfway around the globe to slums in third world countries as part of an internship. Working closely with local doctors and NGOs, helping young kids meet their daily nutrition intake, Prachi identified her passion to make a positive impact with her knowledge and expertise. She went on to finish her Masters in Public Health and Clinical Nutrition before working on the USDA Federal Meal program overseeing nutrition compliance for school districts in six states on the US East Coast.
With groups creating programs to encourage females to consider STEM, what is the biggest barrier to entry that is still prevalent today?
Most of these programs are run by organizations that lack proper funding. When it comes to promoting STEM, most of the programs heavily focus on Engineering (coding to be particular). Science in itself covers a vast array of fields (astrophysics, life science, chemistry, etc) exposure to which could create curiosity and passion to pursue a career in STEM.
What or who inspires you?
Challenging situations inspire me. I feel every time I’m pushed out of my comfort zone, I grow and unlock my true potential. That feeling is very rewarding and makes me keep pushing my limits.
What is your proudest moment/accomplishment?
After high school, I interned with WHO Anemia Prophylaxis Program in developing countries (Bangladesh and India). Part of my job was to educate women and children in the slums, on healthy eating habits to prevent Anemia and malnutrition. When the funding for the program was abruptly cut off, I developed iron-folic acid tablets in the lab out of cauliflower greens; they fed their cattle or tossed out as garbage. I also educated them to incorporate those green leaves in their staple diet to prevent anemia. My last day in those slums, the women mentioned how I inspired them to send their girls to school. This was one of my proudest moments and drove me to pursue a career where I can create a positive impact in the society with my knowledge and passion.