We recently announced the five winners of our 2021 Freestone Future Leaders Scholarship and invite you to get to know these passionate young adults.
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
College: University of Texas at Austin
Intended Major: Biochemistry & Pre-med
Srilaasya, a graduating senior from Sunset High School, methodically chose the University of Texas at Austin for its robust pre-med program, its size and location, and the ability to also pursue a business or computer science minor. Srilaasya’s dream is to be a doctor, not only because of her love for science, but also because she wants to improve the healthcare systems in developing countries and combat medical malpractice.
Rather than waiting for her medical degree to help people, Srilaasya created CyberBORN, a student-led non-profit, as a sophomore in high school. The idea for the organization came from her visit to an orphanage in India where she learned children faced financial barriers to receiving an education. Now, CyberBORN has sponsored over 50 children at the orphanages, raised more than $15,000 and built two computer labs (with eight more in the pipeline). During the pandemic, Srilaasya recruited her peers to join the CyberBORN team and they conducted free virtual educational workshops, mental health seminars, and meditation sessions. CyberBORN also aims to reach the homeless population with food and hygiene kit drives, as well as mask donations. Srilaasya hopes to create a club at UT Austin that will get more students involved with CyberBORN, which is already helping people across the United States, India and Guatemala.
Srilaasya has also made substantial changes as President of Oregon’s HOSA, an organization for students with a future as healthcare professionals. She helped to create collegiate chapters, recruit new members and pushed for increased funding and resources. Her impressive work has not gone unnoticed. Srilaasya was recently one of only 200 students to be awarded the Gold Congressional Award, a goal she worked toward for three years. The award is for youth ages 13-24 and requires public service, personal development, physical fitness and exploration.
In her free time, Srilaasya volunteers at hospitals and assists a university professor with cancer research. She also participates in classical Indian dance, is a yoga and meditation mentor, and enjoys drawing landscapes and listening to music. She is looking forward to joining her new community at UT Austin and finding mentors who are driving change in their fields and can support Srilaasya on her mission to help others.