Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, I stay true to my roots. Growing up in a Tibetan Buddhist Household in Queens, New York I have learned to find value in the challenges I face as a minority, and I thank my family for playing an enormous role in helping me become the woman I am today. My parents recognized the challenges of long-term language and cultural preservation in the West, and encouraged me to attend Tibetan Sunday School and partake in International Campaign for Tibet’s Tibetan Youth Leadership Program.
Ever since I was a young girl, I had an interest in leadership. For a long time I thought this was because I enjoyed being in a position of control, a position of influence which I could use to shape the direction of a particular project or initiative. To some extent, this was the case; however, I only recently realized that it was the desire to have an impact that attracted me the most to leadership. Thus, I would not just wait for leadership opportunities to present themselves, but instead, I would seek them out.
Hence, when I attended Townsend Harris High School, where an annual Festival of Nations event is held to allow students to express their culture through dance, I felt it was my responsibility to introduce and promote our Tibetan culture to a crowd predominantly unaware of the plight of Tibet. It is known to our Tibetan communities in exile that the Tibetan culture has been diminishing. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently made major contributions towards the preservation of the Tibetan identity and its rich heritage.
Fast forward four years, I graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Industrial and Management Engineering. During my time there, my colleagues and I founded an Asian professional organization called Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), an organization that is geared towards helping students of Asian heritage by creating an environment where we can embrace Asian diversity in professional settings. Currently, I am a Materials Process Engineer at Newport News Shipbuilding -Huntington Ingalls Industries. As a Tibetan Female Engineer, I want to not only be a part of the growing presence of female leaders inside/outside of Tibet, but also pave the way for prospective Tibetan Female Engineers.
It takes determination, perseverance, bravery and compassion to take on positions of leadership and accomplish these goals. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the perfect example to go by. He has seen and gone through many conflicts, but he hasn’t forfeited his responsibilities as a leader. He continues to promote dialogue, peace and happiness. I genuinely wish to live a life as simple yet as purposeful as his.
Therefore, I am passionate to join an organization like Miss Tibet North America that encourages Tibetan women to be confident, fearless and self-empowering. It provides me a platform where I can bring forth awareness to violations of human rights in Tibet and promote STEM opportunities for Tibetan Women. These are two initiatives that are at the core of my being and motivate me to live a meaningful life. In the words of Mother Teresa: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” This, here, is my chance to cast a stone across the water.