Aarushi Pant is a 16-year-old from Houston, Texas. She is the founder of Spectrum, which advocates for LGBT rights through storytelling and journalism, and Women Inspiring Social Harmony, or WISH, which aims to empower and educate disadvantaged women and bridge the gender gap in education. After seeing how the queer and women communities, both of which she identifies with, are often overlooked and underrepresented, she wanted to change that.
Question 1 : What is the most rewarding part of running Spectrum Strong and Wish for Equality?
The most rewarding part is knowing how many lives we are changing.
We are truly speaking out and alleviating social issues by using our voices and hopefully encouraging others to do the same and make a difference.
Question 2 : While starting Spectrum Strong, what struggles have you encountered? How have you overcome them?
I’ve faced some backlash from people and it was a struggle to start it without much support, but I’ve found the people who genuinely care about me and support me and I’ve made sure to rely on them.
Question 3 : As the old adage says, teamwork makes the dream work, so what makes someone a good team member? What have you learned from working with a team?
A good team member is someone who communicates well, doesn’t slack off, and doesn’t miss deadlines. They should be responsible and reasonably dedicated too. Working with a team has taught me a lot about the power just a few people can have and how much change and action we can bring about just by working together.
Question 4 : What are a few things you wished that non-LGBTQ+ members understood? How can individuals in our generation support one another and create a positive environment for everyone?
I wish that non-LGBTQ individuals would understand that being LGBT can be really hard when it seems like society just doesn't want you to exist. Respecting someone’s pronouns or just accepting someone for who they are can go a long way.
Question 5 : Could you explain to us how the mentorship process works with Wish for Equality?
This is our first year, so we picked 10 of the 25 girls who attended our summer camp to get assigned a high-achieving high school mentor who, through monthly hour-long calls, is responsible for educating the girls on women-sensitive issues, providing tutoring, support, advice, and counseling!
Question 6 : We heard that Wish hosted its first summer career immersion camp. Congratulations! Tell us more about it.
We had 25 girls from a Title 1 (economically disadvantaged but distinguished) middle school come in for four days where we exposed them to fields such as medicine, entrepreneurship, coding, and engineering. We had lots of projects, experiments, hands-on activities, presentations, and guest speakers too! It was a really great experience.
Question 7 : What is your favorite vegetable?
Follow WISH and Spectrum Strong on their platforms!
WISH Website: http://wishhouston.wordpress.com/
WISH Instagram: @wishforequality ( https://www.instagram.com/wishforequality/ )
Spectrum Strong's Website: http://spectrumstrong.org/
Spectrum Strong's Instagram: @spectrum.strong (https://www.instagram.com/spectrum.strong/)
Instagram: @xxaarushixx ( https://www.instagram.com/xxaarushixx/ )