Last year, Gulliver Prep senior Kiran Masroor and three of her friends co-founded a club called POWER – which stands for Promotion of Women’s Equal Rights.
“I started becoming aware of the sexist culture in the community as a whole, especially in wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement” she says.
Especially if the word “feminist” came up. She and her friends decided that it was time to remove that negative stigma.
“I wanted to redefine what feminism was,” Masroor says. “I wanted the school body to understand what the true policies and goals of feminism were.”
The young women, including Chiara Caremoli, Stephanie Potter, and Rebecca Kaiser want to openly discuss issues pertaining to feminism, such as harassment in the workplace (which discriminately targets women of lower socioeconomic status), confining gender roles, and educational discrimination across the world.
“All I wanted was rational discussion that didn’t demonize either political side,” she says. “I really try to encourage independent thinking when it comes to ‘controversial’ topics such as feminism.”
The last two summers, Masroor has conducted neurological laboratory research at the University of Miami.
“I learned so much about what it takes to be a researcher,” Masroor says. “I learned about determination and having the patience to identify what’s going wrong in an experiment.”
She learned that researchers need independent thinking to understand the value of the failures along the way. And she’s gained confidence in herself by doing research.
She also helps middle school girls gain confidence in the STEM field by teaching them how to code. Each week, Masroor goes to the Pinecrest Library to work with girls through the organization CodeArt.
“I teach these middle schoolers Scratch programming, and I really strive to encourage them to pursue this field,” she says. “The ultimate goal of this program is to increase the number of women in computer science.”
She has taken some programing at school and learned some on her own from Internet courses.
In college, Masoor wants to major in biology and also major in a global health program. She’s considering minors in music and chemistry.
She applied early action to Yale but also has interest in MIT and Brown.
She’s been playing piano since she was eight and has participated in piano competitions, qualifying in the Top 10 in the Steinway & Sons competition.
At Gulliver she’s also a part of the Model United Nations program, serving as Vice President this year. She also won Best Delegate at the Columbia conference.
“I’ve been to five conferences over the past three years,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed my experiences in this club. It has really empowered me to be aware of the events around me and think of solutions to address the problems around us.”
Last year Masroor was president of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society. Her other clubs include the French Honor Society, and the National Honor Society.
Masroor has also done dual-enrollment with the University of Miami the past four years, obtaining a Minor in Chemistry last year.
She’s also participated in out of school competitions in the sciences, winning Top 50 in the National Chemistry Olympiad last year.
Outside of school she volunteers at Friendship Circle at the Chabad of Kendall. The program has teens working with children who have disabilities. She’s works with a 13-year-old boy.
“I love him so much,” she says. “I can definitely say in the past four years, he’s opened up to me. It’s probably been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.”
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld