Class Lead, Scratch Programming
Madhu Krishnan is the co-founder and President of Inclusive World. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications and has worked in the high tech industry for over 18 years. At Inclusive World, Madhu heads strategy and planning and forges partnerships with local organizations. She also teaches Scratch Programming. Madhu enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking and running with her dog Jazzy and tending to her vegetable garden. Madhu believes that every human is born with innate potential, when tapped, helps them lead productive and content lives. Madhu founded Inclusive World to provide a place for individuals with different abilities to discover and grow their abilities and interests and set them on a path to lead happy lives.
Advisory Board Member
Deepa Lakshminarayan is a program manager in the Silicon Valley. As co-founder of Inclusive World, Deepa wears multiple hats including Production Manager and Class Lead for our Arts & Crafts Small Business unit and as a Board Member. Deepa likes to get creative using various media like painting, crafts, jewelry making to name a few. With a deep passion to make a difference to her community, she actively engages and spearheads local community events. Deepa felt the need to help youth who were not seen for their abilities, but always noticed for their disabilities. Alongwith the co-founders of Inclusive World, it has been her endeavor to create an environment where the potential of our differently abled young folks is nurtured. With the help of neurotypical teens and youth acting as their peer buddies, she has strived to create a safe environment for growth and friendships for our members. The peer group environment has opened up avenues for learning, acceptance, friendships and inclusion for all stakeholders, resulting in win-win outcomes at both ends.
Swapna Iyer is an AI engineer, currently at Intel. She holds a masters degree in Electrical Engineering and coaches in Algorithms and programming with Interview Kickstart. She has found her calling in building software systems that change the world for the better. To bring the world of Computer Science to the differently abled youth and to foster in them creativity, self-confidence and everyday happiness of being able to make valuable contributions to the society they live in – is the reason why, Swapna helped setup Inclusive World. She remains a steadfast supporter and cherishes the time with all the members and families who receives the support of Inclusive World.
Srividya Balaji Secretary
Srividya Balaji, Secretary
Srividya Balaji joins us as Secretary of the Board, with the responsibility to manage and run the board meetings and ensure that our organizational objectives are met. Srividya is not new to volunteering, she has served at hospitals, for the homeless, run fundraisers and campaigns. Srividya says, “I learned early on in life from my parents, who lived a life of service (both of whom are doctors at government hospitals), that the ‘greatest gift you can give is the gift of time’ – I highly encourage everyone to find time to give back to whatever cause is near and dear to their hearts.”
Srividya has known about Inclusive World since its inception from our founder Madhu. She adds “Inclusive World’s mission is what has drawn me here. What I have observed is the sheer sincerity and commitment with which the founders & other volunteers run these programs. They make such a big difference, they give a sense of purpose and achievement that cannot be matched. I am looking forward to being a part of this journey in helping reach more differently abled youth achieve their potential.
Srividya holds a BS & MS in Electrical Engineering and is currently the Global Head of Professional Services and Solution Architecture at Wrike. Srividya loves outdoor activities like running & hiking, and also enjoys cooking, music, and dance. She lives in San Jose with her husband, who she says “has always been the wind beneath my wings”, and her two children Arya and Keshav, who are in college. She is a HUGE dog lover and has two adorable pups!
Welcome Srividya, and we thank you for taking on this responsibility!
Janaki Venkatasubramanian Treasurer and MS Excel Class Lead
Janaki Venkatasubramanian, Treasurer and MS Excel Class Lead
Janaki is the financial backbone of Inclusive World. In her role as Treasurer, Janaki critically appraises the organization’s financial standing, policies and procedures, process controls, drives budgeting and reporting as well as our fundraising work. In addition, Janaki is a Class Lead for the intermediate MS Excel Classes. Her goal is to teach and enable students to fall in love with numbers and be able to organize data while learning the tools and techniques of MS Excel. Janaki comes with a decade long experience with the Financial Planning and Analysis group at Siemens where she is Head of Performance Controlling. Janaki has previously volunteered at temples and schools but inspired by the passion and vision of the founders of IW, she joined IW as her first formal volunteer work, where she is part of the Leadership team. When she is not crunching numbers, Janaki loves to travel, cook and to enjoy time with the family and her dear Nella (her dog).
Gowri Kuthanur Board Member
Gowri Kuthanur, Board Member
Gowri leads Inclusive World’s efforts towards adopting Person Centered Thinking and in the development and implementation of building One-page profiles for all our members and volunteers. Gowri believes that person centered approaches and asset-based teaching have the power to unlock our members’ potential by focusing on their interest, abilities and talents. She is passionate about education and believes access to free flowing knowledge can change and empower all. After spending 15 years as a Software and Systems Engineer in the SF bay area, Gowri has been engrossed in the education field for the last eight years as a learning Coach/Instructional Aide for her own daughter, a differently abled youth at Inclusive World. Gowri keeps her passion for learning strong by continuing education through Coursera courses. She enjoys listening to music, reading, cooking and hiking with her family and friends.
Rohini Panchapakesan Executive Director
Rohini Panchapakesan, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Rohini is responsible for planning, organization, and the direction of the organization’s operations and programs, towards Inclusive World’s strategic goals. Rohini loves to explore opportunities for continuous learning, improvising and serving in her role at Inclusive World. She brings a wide range of management knowledge and experience from managing and leading a software development team and involvement with Chinmaya mission as a parent as well as a volunteer teacher to teach spirituality to elementary school kids. Rohini’s journey began with attending a workshop in her children’s school that inspired her to commit her time to positively engaging with people with different abilities. Her association with Inclusive World began through volunteering opportunities that her children pursued at the organization. Over time as she got more immersed in the mission, Rohini took the plunge to dedicate her time to organize and run program operations by leveraging her in-depth corporate experience. Her relentless pursuit of bringing the organization together in its journey makes Rohini a core asset on the Leadership team. Rohini is a music lover and listens to all kinds of music and loves to sing classical Carnatic music. She also loves going out on hikes with friends and family.
Jaya Rupanagunta Strategy Advisor
Jaya Rupanagunta - Strategy Advisor
In her role as a Strategy Advisor, Jaya Rupanagunta supports the leadership team by undertaking strategic initiatives that help us inch closer towards our mission and tracks our progress in making that success a reality. Jaya has more than 20 years of experience in Banking and Financial Services as well as the non-profit sector in leadership roles across areas such as product management, business strategy and operations, FP&A and impact research & analytics. She appreciates different genres of music and dance. In her spare time, she tinkers in DIY arts & crafts and culinary experiments, loves the outdoors and cuddles with her kids and her dog Frodo. Jaya first came across Inclusive World at a UNDP conference in Palo Alto a few years ago. She was very impressed by the organization and its vision and initially undertook project based work. Excited by the opportunity to contribute to building a strong sustainable social impact organization, Jaya joined Inclusive World formally in 2020.
Geetha Gopalakrishnan Co-Head, Arts & Crafts Small Business
Geetha Gopalakrishnan - Co-Head, Arts Crafts Small Business
Geetha Gopalakrishnan has been involved with Inclusive World since 2013 and currently she is the co-head of Arts & Crafts Small Business alongside Maria Hassonjee. She enjoys her time in class interacting with members and volunteers and feels ever so proud in seeing them grow over the years. As a Core team member, Geetha is also involved in many different aspects of the organization. Geetha has been a Bay area resident for the last twenty years and currently works as an IT Manager in a tech company. Committed to giving back to her community and believing in the power and spirit of volunteering, Geetha volunteers her time for few other non-profit organizations, besides Inclusive World. She enjoys running, cooking and yoga in her spare time and is an avid Marathoner.
Maria Hassonjee Co-Head, Arts & Crafts Small Business
Maria Hassonjee, Head, Arts Crafts Small Business
Maria, a fashion and jewelry small business entrepreneur, started the journey with Inclusive World when she generously offered her time to be mentor at the Arts and Crafts Small Business for several years. Maria, with a Diploma in Fashion Design, comes from a family that runs multiple businesses. Her online handcrafted curated collection of fashion jewelry for every occasion, Duel on Jewel, speaks to her own success in business. Duel on Jewel has been selling online across North America (US, Canada and Mexico) and has a strong online marketplace not only through its website but also on Amazon, Ebay and very recently on Walmart. She has over ten years of experience in all aspects of small businesses and brings a can-do attitude to any challenge she encounters. Maria believes in making the business work for her rather than her working for a business and is ever inspiring about her motto to “never lose faith in oneself”. Motivated by Inclusive World’s unique approach to empowering the differently abled and making a difference in their lives, she joined the organization formally in 2020.
Vidya Bharat Advisory Board Member
Vidya Bharat - Advisory Board Member
We are so happy to share that Vidya Bharat has joined Inclusive World as an Advisory Board Member. Vidya has been a long-time patron and well-wisher and has been advising IW with various technology products since 2017. Vidya enjoys program development and looks forward to advising IW in this capacity as Advisory Board Member. Vidya holds a Master’s in Computer Science and brings a wealth of experience from her work at Intel and as Head of Engineering in various technology companies. Vidya wanted to further impact the community in different ways and found her passion in Psychology. She completed her PhD. in clinical psychology in 2019 and has switched careers and currently works as a clinical psychologist at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Vidya co-founded Cognimint along with a group of high school youth in 2020 to develop mobile applications for helping individuals in improving cognitive skills. She mentors the Cognimint team where she is able to leverage her expertise in technology along with her knowledge of psychology. Vidya likes singing karaoke songs with her family of three boys and friends over the weekend as well as going out for walks. Her motto in life is “Life is short and live it to the fullest without regrets.” Welcome aboard, Vidya!
Dharma Kuthanur Coordinator, Grants
Dharma Kuthanur, Coordinator, Grants
As the Coordinator of Grants, Dharma Kuthanur manages the process of applying for sustainable grants that can help fund program initiatives. Such grants are necessary to cover the upfront costs of ongoing programs and expand into new programs. Dharma is a Product management & marketing professional in the Silicon Valley. He currently works on Product Marketing for a data & analytics software company. In his free time, Dharma likes to read, travel, hike with the family, run and cook. The mission of Inclusive World coupled with the passion and commitment of the team towards this mission inspired Dharma to be part of our organization.
Pallavi Kuthanur Inventory Controller
Pallavi Kuthanur, Inventory Controller
In her role as Inventory Controller, Pallavi Kuthanur keeps track of the inventory of the products created by the Arts and Crafts Small Business at Inclusive World. Pallavi has been a proud and enthusiastic student in many of our programs since inception. She finds great joy in her role in both maintaining and seeing the stock flow sheets after sales. Pallavi is a student of Accounting and Economics, at San Jose City College. Pallavi likes to listen to all genres of music to relax, watch movies and likes to go on hikes with her family. She also likes to read and write poetry.
Shalini Suresh Manager, Volunteer & Member Relations
Shalini Suresh, Manager, Volunteer & Member Relations
In her role as a Manager Volunteer & Member relations, Shalini Suresh recruits and manages a large base of members and volunteers in the organization. In the past, Shalini worked in the Arts and Crafts Small Business Program. Shalini was instrumental in setting up the Shasta-Kidly-Inclusive World collaboration. Shalini works at Cisco designing specialized computer chips. In her free time she loves to read, do puzzles, do yoga, and spend time with her friends and family. Her search to learn how to interact with her friend’s child who was differently abled, led Shalini to join the Inclusive World team and be an instrumental force in an impactful journey.
Sandip Parekh Class Lead, Robotics
Sandip Parekh - Class Lead, Robotics
Sandip Parekh spearheads Robotics programming class. Sandip works for a software startup and loves the logical flow of the challenge of solving customer problems utilizing analytical and other approaches. Sandip’s hobbies include hiking with his family, nature photography and being a cub scout leader. His son, a student at Inclusive World’s programs, initiated his interactions at Inclusive World. Sandip was motivated to join our team on seeing how computer programming leads to real-life and employable skills for the differently abled.
Sangeetha Ram Class Lead, MS Excel Level 1
Sangeetha Ram - Class Lead, MS Excel Level 1
Sangeetha Ram is the Class Lead for the basic Excel class. With an education background in Computer Science, Sangeetha works as a Travel Agent. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading and hiking. She was intrigued by the organization’s work after seeing the greeting cards made by Inclusive World’s members and wanted to be part of the Inclusive World team. In the process of getting to know and supporting the organization, she learned how to tailor our programs to fit individual member needs and took on the pivotal role of leading the Basic Excel class.
Chitra Narayan Class Lead, Arts & Crafts Small Business
Chitra Narayan - Class Lead, Arts and Crafts Class Small Business Program
Chitra Narayan is a class lead for Arts and Crafts Small Business program. Chitra has a background in Corporate Secretaryship and worked part time for H&R block which allowed her time to spend with her family. Chitra’s hobbies involve watching Netflix, cooking and walking. She loves to spend time with friends and travel to new places. Chitra had joined the Inclusive World team as a volunteer with the Arts and Crafts program in 2018, which led her to appreciate how therapeutic and productive our programs are.
Geetha Kannan Class Lead, Arts & Crafts Small Business
Geetha Kannan - Class Lead, Arts and Crafts Small Business Program
Geetha Kannan is a class lead for Arts and Crafts Small Business program. Her background is in Physics and Computer Science. Geeta currently works as a Behavior Therapist which she feels helps her understand how to approach certain situations better. In her spare time, Geetha likes to read, do gardening and baking. Her journey began way back in 2012 as a volunteer in the Arts and Crafts Small Business Program.
Rucha Desai Class Lead, Arts & Crafts Small Business
Rucha Desai, Class Lead, Arts and Crafts Small Business Program
Rucha Desai is a class lead for Arts and Crafts Small Business Program. Rucha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering (Software) from SJSU. She worked for 6 years at Sun Microsystems. In her free time, Rucha enjoys traveling with her family, cooking and reading. Rucha was introduced to Inclusive World through her daughters who volunteered with the organization for over five years. Enjoying watching our students and volunteers collaborate to create beautiful artwork, Rucha decided to take on a lead role to support our journey.
Sowmya Janakiraman Coordinator, East Bay & Class Lead, Software Testing Level 1
Sowmya Janakiraman, Coordinator, Skill Development
Introduced to Inclusive World by her friend Geetha Gopalakrishnan in 2015, Sowmya has been actively volunteering for the organization since then and initiated the East Bay program. Sowmya, an-ex techie in Information Technology services, served as Executive Vice President of the Board at Hidden Hills HAWKS EDFUND. She has participated in many fundraising and community outreach initiatives. Sowmya is currently happily settled as a full time homemaker cherishing the little pleasures of life like a good cup of coffee, spending time with family and friends and listening to her diverse playlist of music. Sowmya believes that there is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than bringing a smile in someone’s life even if it were momentary. In addition, Sowmya recently took on the role of a Class Lead for Software Testing Level 1 class.
Keval Khara Market Research Team
Keval Khara, Market Research Team
We are delighted to introduce to you Keval Khara, a member of the Market Research Team, who joined Inclusive World in February this year. Keval is originally from Mumbai, India, and has been working as a Senior Data Engineer after completing his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Boston University in 2019. In his role as a data engineer, he works with multiple Fortune 500 clients on developing a marketing and sales strategy backed by market research, big data analytics, and competitor analysis. Keval has always been a champion of equitable education and opportunity for all. His interest was piqued by a post by Jaya, Strategy Advisor to IW, on the Taproot platform about the project, and he reached out to Madhu and Jaya, convinced that he could bring his analytical and business acumen to the table for this project.
Keval’s passion for volunteering is evident from his past experience with non-profits where his responsibilities have ranged from teaching computer skills to primary school students at a municipal school with not enough resources to volunteering at a women’s shelter for helping underprivileged women find jobs. Keval is inspired by the enthusiasm of the entire team to achieve their goals and mission and notes that everyone on the leadership team is very responsive and eager to share ideas. Keval shares that he still remembers watching Barack Obama’s second presidential Inaugural Address where he says, “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else.” This strongly resonated with Keval and is his motivation to volunteer and help organizations like IW grow. We are so grateful that you have joined our team!!
Sai Praneeth Nallamalli Employment Services and Summer Internships Team
Praneeth Nallamalli, Employment Services and Summer Internships Team
Praneeth Sai, a newer volunteer of the Employment Services and Summer Internship team at Inclusive World, was introduced to the organization last year. The cultural shift induced by the pandemic to quarantining and working from home has given him some additional free time which he wanted to put into use for a good cause. When two of his friends introduced him to IW and shared their experiences, he decided to join the organization. Though Praneeth is fairly nascent in his volunteering, he has experience teaching high school students math and management studies in Chennai and Los Angeles.
Praneeth grew up in Mumbai, India, and has a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and is currently working as Software Engineer in Seattle. From his time at IW so far, Praneeth has enjoyed it quite a lot and continues to look forward to contributing to more projects. To any new volunteers hesitant to continue their work here, he advises giving it a shot as there are no downsides to it. Praneeth says, “Aside from helping others, volunteering to social causes has personal benefits as well. You get to meet like-minded people and broaden your social and personal skills.” Outside of IW, Praneeth is interested in photography, music, and filmography. Praneeth, we are so glad to have you at Inclusive World!
Akshay Kirane Market Research Team
Akshay Kirane, Market Research Team
We are delighted to introduce Akshay Kirane to the IW community as a new member of our Market Research Team! Akshay is originally from India, where he completed his undergraduate studies in Information Technology. He moved to the US in 2017 to complete his Master’s in Management Science and Engineering at Columbia University. He has been in New York ever since, working at Anthem as a part of their data science team. Akshay is not new to volunteering in his community, and has been volunteering in his free time as a test prep instructor for the SATs and as a mentor for children from low-income families through another non-profit organization.
But, this year he was on the lookout for a new organization he could partner up with, and came across Inclusive World. After he met with the leadership team and learned more about the role, he knew that it was the perfect fit for him. He has this to say about his experience at IW, “the team is very welcoming – always ready to meet and answer questions anytime.” Akshay strongly encourages any new volunteers thinking to join to do so, because he said “the joy of seeing your work come to fruition and making a difference in someone’s life is second to none!”
Srilatha Sekaripuram Graphics Designer
Srilatha Sekaripuram, Graphics Designer
We are so excited to welcome Srilatha Sekaripuram to our Inclusive World Team as our Graphics Designer for the Digital Marketing Team! Srilatha has been following Inclusive World for a while and has always been excited to see how much the organization has grown and the impact it has had, and she looks forward to helping the marketing team grow our audience and online presence even more. She was drawn to this particular role because of the creative nature of the work she would be doing. As a Director of Product Management at Verizon Media, she says that this position has given her, “an opportunity to grow and contribute in a space that I am very new to but have always been curious about.” She hopes that those who are on the fence about volunteering look for opportunities to find things “you love to do while helping a cause you are passionate about!” Srilatha has already demonstrated her passion for graphic design by hosting a session on Canva for our youth as part of our Guest Artist series. Srilatha, we are so glad that you are part of team IW!
Usha Narayanan Newsletter Coordinator
Usha Narayanan, Newsletter Coordinator
Usha Narayanan was drawn to Inclusive World’s mission and wanted to contribute to the organization and she began volunteering in 2019, at the same time as her son. She is inspired by the volunteers in Inclusive World and the passion they have for the work they do for the organization. Usha has taken on the role of Newsletter Coordinator and is responsible for collaborating with volunteers and leads to deliver the quarterly Inclusive World newsletter. Usha has a Master’s in Computer Science and works in the tech industry. Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys gardening. Volunteering at Inclusive World has taught Usha the importance of learning from each experience. She looks forward to another great year with Inclusive World. Thank you, Usha, for taking on this leadership responsibility!
Shobana Narasimhan Conversation Skills Program Co-Lead
Shobana Narasimhan, Conversation Skills Program Co-Lead
Shobana resides in San Jose with her husband and two teenage children. She currently works at VMWare and has worked in the tech industry for a long time. Shobana was brought to Inclusive World through both of her children. Inclusive World was part of several cultural events that she and her daughter attended, and her teenage son volunteered with the arts and crafts program. She identified with the mission, and immediately knew she wanted to volunteer, so when the opportunity to take up the lead role for the Conversational Skills program presented itself, she gladly stepped into the role. . Before her involvement with Inclusive World, Shobana volunteered with Asha for Education, working to help the underprivileged in India receive an education. In more recent years, volunteering sometimes had to “take a backseat” as work and family have kept Shobana busy, but her enthusiasm and readiness to dive back into volunteering are evident!
Shobana has been impressed with the dedication of her conversational skills team, as well as other programs at Inclusive World, and will clearly keep the energy and dedication alive. Shobana looks forward to future interactions with students and their families, as well as helping to shape the program, surely for the better. Shobana encourages those considering volunteering, to take the next step, and start volunteering, highlighting the many options and great team support that Inclusive World has to offer. Shobana, we are so happy that you have taken on this Lead role!
Susanne Kerkhoff Conversation Skills Program Co-Lead
Susanne Kerkhoff, Conversation Skills Program Co-Lead
Susanne Kerkhoff heard about Inclusive World via her volunteer match account and started by volunteering in the Conversation Skills Program last year.
Susanne has a Bachelors in Educational Science from Wuerzburg University in Germany. She started her career in Early childhood education as an early childhood teacher in Germany for Mercedes Benz. She is currently a PreK teacher at the German International School of Silicon Valley and is very interested in creating inclusive classrooms. Susanne is a very social person that likes to meet and be around people and loves to travel, camp and explore new places. She rides the motorcycle and likes to paint in her free time.
Susanne will be leading the Conversation Skills Program in Fall. She is looking forward to gaining more experience in leading a class and working with the student community. Thank you Susanne for stepping forward to lead the class!
Meet Sahithya Swaminathan, a tech enthusiast who is interested in AI & Robotics and a Freshman at San Jose State University pursuing Computer Science. Sahithya started with Inclusive World as a student volunteer in 2015 with the Arts & Crafts and Software Testing classes. She also volunteered during the summer as an intern and helped create the volunteer guidelines video, websites, curriculum enhancements, etc. In 2019, she took on a leadership role and started the East Bay branch, and now Sahithya is the Co-lead for the Software Testing Level 1 classes. In this role, she helps with curriculum preparation, conducts classes, and also supports students and volunteers during the classes. Sahithya is the Co-lead for the Software Testing Level 1 classes. In this role, she helps with curriculum preparation, conducts classes, and also supports students and volunteers during the classes. Thank you Sahithya for taking up this leadership responsibility!
In her own words here is what Sahithya has to say: “My experiences with Inclusive World have been nothing but rewarding. Working with students in classes and watching our buddies succeed in the professional world is all the reason to keep getting involved. Seeing the pride and joy of every IW family who has benefited from this cause keeps me active and looking for opportunities for us to grow even more. Following a one-glove fits all system, we confine individuals into a narrow path without recognizing their unique abilities and talents. However, the future of amending these barriers lies within people getting involved in a cause like this where we value a person-centered approach. I urge everyone to volunteer and spread the word about our mission so that every person in our society is given a fair chance to reach their maximum potential. And of course, we have loads of fun and thoroughly enjoy our time together.”
In her free time, Sahithya loves singing, dancing, all things music, playing with her dog, and hanging out with her sister!
Akash Parekh Outreach Coordinator
Akash Parekh, Outreach Coordinator
Growing up in Mumbai, Akash Parekh saw his parents giving back to the community by volunteering and wanted to continue that commitment. Akash completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University, India, and then completed his Master’s in Computer Science from Boston University. Akash works in the field of software development and is passionate about working with cloud technologies, security, data science, and their applications in the financial and healthcare space. Akash likes to explore new places and hike. He is an avid fan of cricket and soccer After learning about Inclusive World’s vision of helping neurodiverse youth lead a more fulfilling life, Akash wanted to come forward and apply his knowledge of marketing to help IW grow.
Akash is currently working in the outreach team, leading the marketing internships alongside Srilatha Sekaripuram this year.
Beginning his work at IW with the Impressions contest, he is excited by the work our team has done and sees a great opportunity to expand IW’s presence through social media.
Thank you, Akash for joining Inclusive World’s outreach team as the new Outreach coordinator.