Aayush Goud is a 17 year old junior at Wayzata High School. He is an IAM intern starting 2021 and is working in the technical side. In school, he has been selected for the National BPA Leadership Conference and is actively engaged with the Wayzata Science Olympiad team. Recently, he also participated in the United States Physics Olympiad and United States Biology Olympiad. In 2020, Aayush was named a Borlaug scholar and was a global youth institute delegate on behalf of the United States to the World Food Prize convention, where he presented on potential solutions to sustainable agriculture in the rural and slowly urbanizing India. His future goals include going to a top school. such as Harvard or Johns Hopkins, for a medical or physics program. He is excited to be partnered with such a great and successful organization as Indian Association of Minnesota.
“I look forward to serving the community and creating an impact in my community!”
Aayush’s interests include participating in volunteer events hosted by local organizations, playing cricket, badminton, and basketball, playing chess online, andengagin in physics and neuroscience studies. Aayush got second place in the state chess tournament in 2019 in his division and continues to play online competitive chess in the COVID environment.
Fun fact: Aayush is creating a website for students that acts as a database of information for college level science classes.
Akshitha Ginuga is a senior at Eden Prairie High School. She joined IAM in early 2020 and has been with the Government Relations Committee. IAM past president (1992), Shanti Shah is her mentor at IAM. At school, she is the captain of the debate team, speech team and mock trial team. Her interest in Government Relations comes from her debate background. Her goal is to make a difference that is greater than just herself. She was also a Cultural Broker with Asian Media Access. For Akshitha, volunteering with IAM is a good way to interact with the community. So far, she has worked on Census engagement, voter outreach, social justice initiatives, advocacy, website information and has hosted IAM events including IndiaFest 2020. She believes that the Indian American community in Minnesota is sometimes hesitant towards civic engagement and hopes she can be a bridge between the government and the community. She stays involved to ensure that the government works the way it should.
Akshitha’s interests include baking, listening to music, watching movies, hanging out with friends, swimming and going on walks. On weekends, she likes visiting new places and trying out new restaurants.
Fun fact: Akshitha shares a birthday with her mother.
Ananya R Sagi
Ananya Sagi is a 15-year-old who lives in Eden Prairie, MN. She is an upcoming sophomore at Eden Prairie High School. She is a first-year intern at IAM who desires to stay connected with her community. She has been volunteering for nonprofit organizations for years, as she has a passion for helping others.
Ananya’s interests include baking, painting, biking, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys playing guitar, which she taught herself. Fun fact: Ananya ran into one of her favorite NBA players at the MN State Fair in 2019!
Arul Banerjea is a 15-year old rising sophomore this year at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. He has been an intern with IAM since 2020 and strives to help his Asian Indian community in any way possible. His passion is to help others in any way possible and is therefore pursuing a career in medicine. He positively influences the community around him by teaching piano to children in the community and by volunteering at St. Therese Senior Services of Woodbury. Arul’s interests include playing the piano, learning about the brain, and playing tennis. He has been an avid piano student since he was 4. He is the president of his school’s brain bee club and is a voracious reader. Fun fact: Arul loves to sleep!
Dhruv Patel is a 17-year-old from Woodbury, MN. He will be a senior at Woodbury High School this year. He has been an intern with IAM since 2020 and is determined to help the Asian- Indian community. His passion is to help his community and is why he also volunteers at Woodwinds Hospital. His ideas about leadership and love for the outdoors is why he is an avid Boy Scout and is going to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout this fall. He has been Senior Patrol Leader for 2 years, and now is Junior Assistant Scoutmaster for the past year and counting. Dhruv also is a martial artist in Tae-Kwon-Do and is receiving his Black Belt within this year. Dhruv’s interests include playing guitar, hiking, camping, landscape photography and videography, astrology, and cliff-jumping. Fun fact: Dhruv has hiked and camped 150 miles in 10 days in the backcountry of New Mexico. He also made and built an FPV Drone.
Hi, my name is Jeevan Venkatesan and I am a IAM intern. This is my second year as an IAM intern and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I am a current junior at Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. My current extracurricular activities include: golf, varsity bowling, basketball, A better community impact fellowship, Professional Bhangra team, volunteering at Fishes and Loaves, Model United Nations, Newspaper, JV Math team, logistics officer at Earth Uprising Minnesota, Knowledge bowl, Lincoln society, Bell Museum, Alana think tank, MAIDA internship, Ginny Klevorn internship, worked with the Biden Administration, founder of Dance For a Cause, youngest Maple grove Rotary member, student ambassador of Saint Thomas Academy, NASA Hunch, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, and dance for South Asian Arts and Theater House. Currently at IAM, I am the photographer, Oral history Intern, I was the Intern lead on corporate connect, I am also a ABCI Fellow and got selected to participate in the Alana Think Tank. As the photographer I attend the majority of the events to capture the important moments for our social media and technology team. As an Oral history Intern I focus on how Guyanese Indians migrated from Guyana to the United States especially to Minnesota.. Currently with an IAM partner, A Better Community Impact, I am building a business to run over the summer, this organization also leads a think tank which formulated a plan to see how we can use government funds more effectively and efficiently. Finally my earth day proposal is to bring awareness to our earth and how we should take care of our home more often.
Kavya Karthic is a 17-year-old at Eden Prairie, MN. She will be a senior this year and just joined IAM as an intern in Government and Policy. In addition to the IAM internship, she has an internship with the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce and an internship at Senator Tina Smith’s campaign. She is passionate about public speaking and making a difference in this world. She has been a captain of the Eden Prairie Mock Trial Team for 2 years and has won the All-State Attorney award two years in a row. She aspires to be a lawyer and eventually get involved in politics. Kavya’s interests include playing piano, violin, dancing, singing, reading, biking, traveling, planning events, and public speaking. She has played piano for 10 years and has played at the Honors Concert in the Minnesota Convention Center 7 times. Fun fact: When she was 15, she fractured her arm while riding down a hill near her house. She wore a cast for 6 weeks and took it off right before she went on vacation!
Monali Bhakta joined as a Government Relations Intern this spring. She is a 2020 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College who earned her B.A. in Political Science and English. Since graduating, she has been involved in a variety of non-profit and government advocacy work. In college, Monaliy was heavily involved in civic engagement, testifying at the MN State Legislature to encourage the Senate Higher Education Committee to invest in the MN State Grant Program. She also served as a Congressional Intern for the Office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in Minneapolis, MN, working on immigration casework and assisting Minnesota’s diverse immigrant community navigate the naturalization process, She previously served as a Field Organizer for the Dan Feehan for Congress campaign for this 2020 General Election Cycle, and worked closely with the Latinx and African-American electorate to learn what mattered to them in a political candidate. Ever since January 2021, she has been involved with a variety of political/social advocacy organizations, such as the Minnesota Private College Council, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, South Asians 4 Black Lives, and IGNITE National. She hopes to bring her extensive experience in political organizing and social movements to IAM’s Government Relations work as part of her spring internship. One fun fact about her is that she’s travelled to 4 countries that all touch different parts of the world such as Panama, Australia, Japan, and Italy.
Nicole joined IAM as a marketing intern to learn, support, and connect with her birth country's culture. She is a college student studying marketing communications, and her dream job would be working on the promotions team of a major film or television company like Warner Bros or Pixar. Nicole travels as often as she can to re-energize, meet new people, and expand her knowledge of the world. She loves cats and one fun fact would be Nicole has photographed, fed, and played with the cats of Kotor (Montenegro).
Ojaswini Thodupunoori is a 17-year-old from Woodbury, MN. She will be a senior in high school this year at Math and Science Academy. She is a first-year intern at IAM and strives to create a lasting impact on the Asian-Indian community. Her passion to help others and the community is what drives her to volunteer at the Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Her ideas are put to action through her position as President of the National Honors Society, Secretary of Student Council, and active involvement in creating non-segregated schools in Minnesota through the Student Conference. Ojaswini’s interests include teaching and performing dance. Dance has played such a big role in Ojaswini’s life as she spent 9 years learning Bharatanatyam. She teaches Tollywood dance to a group of middle school students who are eager to learn from her. In her free time, she loves to paint and read books. Fun fact: Ojaswini loves trying new food from different cultures and places.
Pranith Molakalapalli is an upcoming sophomore at Wayzata High School at the age of 15. He has been involved in IAM since 2020 as an intern. He works with the IAM media team. Because he has experience in streaming and producing videos he has been helping with streaming and producing videos of the events that occur within IAM. Pranith’s interests include Building and designing robots as he is part of the Wayzata trojans robotics team since 2019 and apart of FIRST ( For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for 6 years. In my free time, I like to gain skills to be able to help people in the future.
Fun fact: Pranith has gone to Charminar in Hyderabad, India
Priyanka Kopuru is a 16-year-old from Eden Prairie, MN. She is an upcoming junior at Eden Prairie high school. She is a first-year intern at IAM who strives to help and stay connected to her Asian-Indian community. Priyanka’s interests include singing, baking, dancing, and reading. She also really likes to learn new languages. Fun fact: She is not a native speaker of Tamil but she can understand some basic Tamil.
Rahul Chimata is a 16-year-old who lives in Eden Prairie MN. He is a sophomore at Eden Prairie High School. This is his second year as an IAM Intern, and he has been involved with IAM from a young age. He was also a Cultural Broker for Asian Media Acess. Most of his interests and skills helped him join the media and technology team of IAM. His goal is to get a very in-depth understanding of mechanical and aerospace engineering so that one day he can have his own technology on NASA equipment.
Rahul’s interests include anything electronic-related. Rahul has been involved in FIRST Robotics for the last 9 years. He is currently part of the Eden Prairie High School Robotics team. In his free time, he likes designing and creating things that have various electrical components. He also snowboards quite frequently in the winter.
Ria Mittal is a 16-year-old who lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She is a junior at Wayzata High School. This is her first year as an IAM intern and she is excited to share her experiences and gain more knowledge! Currently, Ria is helping with the IAM newsletter as she loves to write and design. Ria also teaches kids reading and math as she has a passion for teaching and helping. She is interested in pursuing a career in economics. Ria’s interests include painting, biking, and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys learning about business and economics. She is part of a business club at her school and teaches young kids about entrepreneurship. Fun fact: Ria once smashed her finger in a car door.
Sahaana Vasudevan is a 15 year old in Woodbury, MN. She’s going into her junior year of high school at Math and Science Academy. She is a first year intern at IAM and has been a volunteer at the Science Museum of MN for 3 years. She is also part of an all-girls FTC robotics team and enjoys CAD design and building. Sahaana’s interests include. Her passions include anything musical, or anything related to activism. She has been playing the piano for 5 years and has been learning Indian classical Carnatic music for 10 years. She also started a political blog with a friend in 2018, and now has a podcast with another friend. In her free time she likes to read, paint, and go biking! Fun fact: She was born and attended school in India through 2nd grade, so she is a year younger than the rest of her classmates :)
Shaunak Manjure is a sophomore at the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury, Minnesota. He joined the IAM intern team in 2021 and wants to contribute as much as he can to the Minnesota community as a whole. Shaunak has a passion to help others and interact with people of diverse backgrounds; he sees an internship with the IAM as a good platform to fulfill this passion. He helps out the community by volunteering in his school's chapter of the National Honor Society.
Shaunak’s interests include playing cricket, learning Indian classical music, and learning about biology and life sciences. He captained the Minnesota Youth Cricket Association team in tournaments around the country and was recently selected to train for the USA Cricket Midwest Zone. Shaunak has a passion for cricket and is looking to pursue it fully. He has learned Indian Classical music from the age of 7 learning both Carnatic and Hindustani vocals. Also, he has been a part of local music performances. Shaunak is a member of the MSA Student Council and National Honor Society.
Fun Fact: Shaunak loves to travel and has been to 9 different countries and 13 different states.
Sidarth Gazula is a rising sophomore at Wayzata High School in Plymouth. He has been involved with the India Association of Minnesota since 2019 as an intern. He is particularly working in the Marketing and Government Relations groups at IAM. Because of his fond passion for graphic design, He has been creating graphics/posters for numerous IAM initiatives and events including the 2020 Census and COVID-19 taskforce. He hopes to pursue a career in the STEM or business field. Sidarth’s interests include mathematics, science, chess, and DECA (competitive business club). In his freetime, he enjoys graphic design, biking, and playing chess. He enjoys traveling to other states and countries and discovering new places. Fun fact: Sidarth has visited the tallest building in the world: The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.
Tarun Gorrepati is an upcoming sophomore at Wayzata High school, who is on the technology team of IAM. He has joined the IAM internship program this year and has loved it so far. He joined so he can help and give back to the community that raised him. Tarun wants to be a biomedical engineer in the future but that may change in the future. Tarun’s interests include volunteering at multiple places and he also volunteers for political candidates. Tarun plays soccer for his high school team. Tarun has also been part of FIRST robotics for 7 years going to state multiple times and also winning over 10 awards. Currently, he is part of Wayzata robotics team. Fun fact: Tarun is a twin