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Class of 2021: Shrijana Khanal

Congratulations, Sondheim Scholars Class of 2021!

Shrijana Khanal

Major: Economics

Home town: Ellicott City, Maryland

Shrijana has been a deeply engaged member of the UMBC community. As an undergraduate, Shrijana participated in the STRiVE leadership retreat, lived in the Shriver Living-Learning Community, and co-founded and co-led the TEDx Club, which hosted the 2020 TEDxUMBC event. As a student staff member at the UMBC Women’s Center, Shrijana published several blog posts and co-published a zine called “Telling Our Stories,” which focused on the stories of women of color. She also participated in UMBC’s Sloan Foundation programming and completed summer internships with the Brookings Institution and a data analytics company. Shrijana now works for Brookings’ Center for Sustainable Development on the 17 Rooms project, which is focused on making progress toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. She plans to pursue graduate education in the future. In her own words, “I am still figuring out my career trajectory, but no matter what I choose to pursue, my values of authenticity, ambition, and creativity will always be with me.” 

A few thoughts from Shrijana on her time as a Sondheim Scholar:

What is your most memorable public service experience as a Sondheim Scholar? 

My most memorable public service experience as a Sondheim Scholar will always be during my freshman year when I tutored Syrian refugee children in English and Math at Beechfield Elementary/Middle School. I am most definitely not a morning person, but I looked forward to waking up at 7 AM every morning once a week on Wednesdays to see the kids I tutored. Quality education is a right that every person deserves in this world. On a personal level, those kids taught me that light and flickers of hope can be found in the dimmest of places and times.

What was your favorite Sondheim event? 

My favorite Sondheim event was seeing the play adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is such a heartbreaking and raw story, but it reminds us of the power and strength that women hold especially if we work together and stay united.

What's an important thing you learned about the world beyond campus while you were a student at UMBC?

The most important thing I learned about the world beyond campus is that everyone is capable of change and making a difference in the world, no matter how small. In order to cause a ripple effect and positive impact on social issues, you must connect local activism with the global.

Posted: May 20, 2021, 4:28 PM