Why I Give: Komal Charania ’15

Komal Charania ‘15 learned the importance of donor support at NCSSM while an attaché. As an alumna, she makes sure to continue that support herself.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Komal Charania hasn’t even been gone from campus for a year (she graduated from NCSSM in 2015). But she is already giving back to the school, because she knows just how important that support is. Originally from Concord, NC, Charania was an attaché during her time at NCSSM. This senior leadership position, which Charania described as her “favorite activity” while at Science and Math, allowed her to make valuable connections and learn more about the role that charitable donations play at NCSSM.

“Being an attaché showed me that there is so much that would not be possible without donations,” Charania says. “Science and Math is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and without all of the opportunities given to us by donors, the school environment would not be the same. It’s the least I can do for a school that gave me so much.”

Charania is a freshman at NC State studying environmental engineering, a field she settled on as each course she took at NCSSM guided her to the field. “I came into junior year ‘wanting’ to be a radiologist because I was told they were paid well. I didn’t really have a passion for it, but SMath* helped me find something that I really enjoyed. It was more of a process of elimination type of decision. I realized that the humanities aren’t for me because of [American Studies]. I then found that I really loved chemistry and physics. By senior year, I knew that I wanted to work in engineering because I had a knack for science and math (really cliché, I know). I had narrowed it down to computer science and environmental engineering so I took CompSci and Climate Change Biology, which helped me choose Environmental Engineering.”

She benefited from opportunities to embrace her field while still at NCSSM, too. “SMath also motivated me to go out of my way to pursue an internship with an engineering firm that allowed me to conduct my own research in environmental engineering.”

Charania points out that  NCSSM’s true impact is not limited to a classroom or to the majors and careers that students choose after they graduate. “I truly believe that NCSSM changes your life and who you are as a person. I grew up and learned to see life from a different perspective.”

* Current students and recent alumni often refer to their school as ”SMath”. We know, S&Mers, things change.


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