Most teachers here at Dana Hills High School grew up locally, or even attended Dana themselves. Dr. Sharma, however, has an exceptional story on how she arrived here. Dr. Sharma is an AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry and Physics teacher in the science department.
Dr. Sharma was born and raised in Northern India. Because Sharma has a son here and three kids of her own, she has seen the difference of growing up in the United States compared to a third world country.
When asked about the differences between the two, Sharma stated, “It is very different. When I see all of you guys, I always feel you guys are so fortunate, and these are things you do not even realize like the resources you have. Kids who are born in the U.S. have so much more so they should take advantage of that.”
Dr. Sharma always knew she wanted to, at one point, come to the United States and become an engineer with a science background. From a very young age, Sharma knew what she wanted. Dr. Sharma commented, “I had that type of thinking. I was able to analyze certain things very quickly. I knew that science was an area where I could apply what I have learned so that is why I knew I wanted to be an engineer.”
Before Dr. Sharma ended up at Dana Hills, she attended the University of Kansas working as a research scientist for many years. Dr. Sharma later had kids and, because of this, took a break from science.
After taking six years off, and taking care of her kids during this time, Dr. Sharma decided to get her credentials in science to teach teens not just science, but life lessons.
When asked how she was able to overcome hardships that she faced coming from India, Sharma stated, “In India, the competition is so high because there are so many people. Growing up, there was competition in everything. Even for admission for lower grades like seventh and eighth, there was a limited amount of seats with so many people applying. Because of the competition, there was always a lot of pressure, so I knew I was up against a lot and had the determination to work hard.”
Clearly, Sharma has put in tremendous effort to get where she is today. But since she was determined to work so hard from a young age, she feels as if she “missed out on other experiences. I feel like kids here have a chance to do both and have a balanced life unlike India.”
Dr. Sharma clearly had a very different upbringing than most people at Dana, but in the end, it seems to have paid off.
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