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Future of Education,
Youth Advocate

Ririka Watanabe is a proactive, diligent individual who strives for perfection regarding her aspirations and interests. She also goes by Lily, and aspires to be an engineer and advocate for more opportunities for innovation and education for girls worldwide.

Ririka’s passion for engineering and gender equality sparked at eleven when she was at a National Robotics competition. She has always loved mathematics and building from a young age and wishes to contribute to designing a brighter tomorrow. However, after she joined a robotics team in grade 6, she realized there were only three girls compared to the dozen boys who made up the majority. The club's advisors were biased towards the boys and spent most time advising them as they believed her team was not worth their time. From then onwards, she desires to help other young girls step into STEM and contribute to closing the gender gaps to ensure that girls are not a minority in STEM.

Ririka is studying four Advanced Subsidiary subjects at school as a ninth-grade student. She wished to accelerate her learning, especially in Mathematics and Physics, to challenge herself more. Ririka is the Model United Nations Club secretary and a team director for her school’s student newspaper. She has learned the importance of communication and empathy through maintaining her leadership positions. She loves the arts as Vice President of the Art Club and loves to play the guitar as well. She also enjoys playing tennis as she believes maintaining physical health is essential. She has learned the significance of having a positive mindset to be determined and resilient. During her spare time, Ririka likes to competitively play board games and card games with her family. 

Looking ahead, Ririka hopes to major in Product Design at Stanford University and become an engineer while continuing to advocate for gender equality in STEM fields - her goal is to help young girls have equal opportunities in STEM and boost girls’ learning and confidence. 

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