2017 BANYAN SCHOLARS

RAISA ALAM

Raisa, whose family is originally from Bangladesh, grew up in Queens, New York. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and is currently a junior at Columbia University. At Columbia, she plans to major in Medicine, Literature, and Society in hopes to become a doctor without borders. She spends most of her time doing neuroscience research, taking photographs, and tutoring third graders. She also enjoys reading young adult fiction and watching anime. 

ROYAL SHARMA

Royal, who is of Indian origin, currently attends the William E. Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York. A graduate of Forest Hills High School, he looks to pursue a major in Applied Mathematics with minors in Computer Science and Finance. Royal’s prime interest is music; he plays all the percussion instruments of a standard concert band as well as the tabla, dholak and dhol (South Asian drums). Royal was recently elected as a representative of his Macaulay class at City. He has also joined the campus radio station as a radio jockey and disco jockey. Royal wishes to pursue a career in financial engineering or data science and would like to also continue his passion for music.

ABHAYVIR SINGH

Abhayvir was born in Punjab, India and has spent most of his life in Queens, New York. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and is now in the Coordinated B.A.-M.D. Program and the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood has instilled in him a strong passion for cultural/religious studies. He has also conducted scientific research and wants to continue pursuing that in college as well. He hopes to major in Cultural Anthropology with Religious Studies while remaining on track to attend medical school.  

JAYLINA KARMACHARYA

Jaylina, whose family is from Nepal, grew up in Queens, New York and attended the Academy of American Studies for high school. She is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a double major in Biology and International Studies. Jaylina hopes to combine her interests in traveling the world and helping people by becoming a pediatrician or an obstetrician, and working for the World Health Organization. She likes to play soccer and flag football.

MAESHA SHONAR

Maesha hails from Bangladesh and is currently a junior at Barnard College where she is studying Economics and Political Science. She is involved in community outreach and youth development work in and outside of school. As a Lead Barnard Liaison for the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University, she works alongside marginalized students to prepare them for higher education. During her junior year of high school, Maesha decided to launch a nonprofit organization, The Link Scholars, to help ease the transition from middle to high school for under-resourced students. Alongside her academic activities, she enjoys dancing and going out for New York City excursions. Maesha is determined to dismantle economic and educational disparities while in college and beyond.