The first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. She founded her tech organization in 2012 with the goal of teaching 1 million girls to code by 2020.

Her family is from India but she was born in Berwyn, Illinois.

Her story:

– In 1973, Saujani’s parents found asylum in the U.S. after dictator Idi Amin threatened to expel or execute Indians and others of Asian descent from Uganda.

– They chose Illinois by throwing a dart on a map; it landed on Chicago.

– Growing up in the suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, she felt like an odd girl out. “I didn’t have a lot of people who looked like me, and for a long time I felt like I wanted to be white; I wanted my name to be Rebecca; I wanted to fit in and belong,” she says. “I denied so much of who I was.”

– She is​ ​a​ ​graduate​ ​of​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Illinois,​ ​Harvard’s​ ​Kennedy​ ​School​ ​of​ ​Government, and​ ​Yale​ ​Law​ ​School.​

– ​She’s​ ​been​ ​named​ ​one​ ​of​ ​Fortune’s​ ​World’s​ ​Greatest​ ​Leaders,​ ​Fortune’s 40​ ​Under​ ​40,​ ​a​ ​WSJ​ ​Magazine​ ​Innovator​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Year, among many other recognitions.​

– TO ME, AMERICA MEANS: “The land of opportunity. The country where I’ve always been able to dream big and fail even bigger. It’s where I left my job working in finance to run for Congress because I wanted to make a difference and help make people’s lives better. When I failed, it’s the place where I put hundreds of thousands of girls closer to ending the gender gap.”

From: Marie Claire

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