Mahekdeep Singh

Age: 20

Education: Highline College, Associate of Science in Engineering, 2016

Service:

  • Founder, Introducing Engineering to Young Individuals
  • Student Ambassador, Seattle University Electrical Engineering Department
  • Student Ambassador, Seattle University 125th Anniversary Gala

Awards/honors:

  • Washington Aerospace Scholar 2013
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member, 2014
  • Alfie Scholars, 2016
  • Xavier Scholarship, 2016
  • National Science Foundation S-STEM Scholarship, in 2016
  • SHPE & IEEE Society, 2016

Major: Electrical Engineering, 2018

Goals: I aspire to make a positive impact on the world through innovation and lifelong learning. My career aspiration is to focus on developing and distributing sustainable intelligent mechanisms across the globe.

Civility: All the eyes were directed toward me as I entered the classroom. Everybody was looking at me as if I was an extraterrestrial being. As I walked toward my designated seat, one of the kids yelled, “Is that a ball on your head?” Everybody in the classroom busted into laughter. I couldn’t quite understand what I had done to be the laughing-stock of the class. This was my experience on the first day of attending school in the United States.

I was born into a Sikh family; therefore, I always kept long hair and worn a small turban. This made me stand out from a typical American kid my age. I constantly felt as if everybody was judging me based on my appearance. This had a profound impact on my life because it was the first time I experienced incivility.

It was frightening to go to school until one day, I was befriended by another student at lunch, and since then we have been best friends. I soon realized that my classmates were not intentionally being uncivil; they were simply not accustomed to seeing people with turbans. I spent the next weeks introducing myself to random people at my school, so that they could know me as a person and not judge me based on my attire. This way, I was able to change other's perception of me, and I was also able to make new friends.

We live in a world filled with people of different ethnicities, religious, and cultural backgrounds; thus everybody is likely to have a different point of view. We do not necessarily need to agree with each other, but rather we should try to respect and understand our differences. People are afraid of what they do not know and understand. That was my experience growing up as a Sikh immigrant; however, I was able to understand and educate my fellow classmates, which allowed them to look past my attire and see me as a normal kid.  

Autobiography: I was born and raised in a small agricultural village in Punjab, India. My family moved to the United States when I was eleven years old. I speak Punjabi, Hindi, and English. Being the first person in my family to attend school in the United States was a nerve-wracking experience. As time progressed, I learned to adapt and grow accustomed to the ways of the new world. That is the reason why, during my senior year at Raisbeck Aviation High School, I decided to develop a program by creating a new STEM curriculum. The main purpose of the program was to offer young students a support system that would allow them to succeed despite their unique backgrounds.

After graduating from Raisbeck Aviation High School in 2014. I continued my education at Highline College in Des Moines, WA. It was there I developed a passion and curiosity about the impacts of physics, math, and computer programming on the modern world. This inspired me to pursue a career in the field of Electrical Engineering. In addition to coaching youth soccer and attending Seattle University, I am also working as a micro-grid designer for Kilowatts for Humanity, a project to bring solar energy to developing countries. I am extremely excited and looking forward to what the future holds.