Hello! My name is Nihitha Vallabhaneni, and I am currently a junior at Garnet Valley High school located in Delaware County, PA. I’ll start off by talking a little bit about myself and then go into how I became a TRIP member. In school, my favorite subject has to be biology. I have always liked biology and the study of genetics since a young age and by attending workshops and camps, this interest only continued to grow. Additionally, I am involved in various leadership roles and clubs at school. I hold officer positions in the Global Awareness Club, Youth in Government, and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). Apart from school, I’m the co-coordinator of two nonprofit organizations called TinyHacks and Apps4Education. Two other activities I have been participating in for seven years are Indian Classical dance and playing the piano. Furthermore, I always like to stay involved with my community and contribute wherever I can, so I do a lot of volunteering through Cradles to Crayons as well.
During my leisure time, I love to watch sports, bake, and travel. I used to play basketball when I was younger and got really into watching the NBA nowadays. My favorite team is the Sixers and I would love to see them win a championship in the near future! During quarantine, my sister and I began baking various different goods such as macaroons, scones, and tarts to pass time. Thus, I have gotten really into trying new recipes and perfecting old ones. In addition, I enjoy traveling and exploring new places so much! I went to Europe two summers ago and it was a great experience. I got to visit some beautiful tourist sites and try new customs.
So now the question is “Why TRIP?” I am involved in TRIP because there are two courses of study that I am exceedingly passionate about, and I am trying to determine which one I want to continue my studies with in college. During my freshman year, I conducted an independent research project. The research question I was experimenting with was “How do warm colors and cool colors cognitively affect memory?” For this project, we had to collect background information, conduct an experiment, and ask for further funding. This assignment was one of the most memorable and intriguing projects I have worked on, which is why this program is so appealing to me. Unfortunately, due to covid, I was able to do all of the background information in order to conduct the research, but I was unable to efficiently gather data for the lab because I had to do everything virtually. Thus, I am excited to be a part of TRIP as I will be able to conduct research of my interest in a professional laboratory setting.