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.
Production Manager and Class Lead,
Arts Crafts Small Business
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Dheeraj Khanna Class Lead, East Bay Class Software Testing Level 1
Dheeraj Khanna - Class Lead, East Bay Class Software Testing Level 1
Dheeraj Khanna is the co-lead for the Software Testing Level 1 class, offered as part of the East Bay Programs. He has spent over a year setting up Inclusive World’s East Bay Program. Dheeraj currently works as a Senior Project Manager at Adobe and feels that the testing aspect has been a key component in the success of any application he has worked on during his 15 years in the tech field. Dheeraj likes to travel to new places, loves to try new cuisines and read all things technology in his spare time. He was motivated to join the organization after hearing about its mission and approach, and meeting the co-founder, Madhu Krishan, at a workplace event.
Rajesh Prasad Class Lead, East Bay Class Software Testing Level 1
Rajesh Prasad - Class Lead, East Bay Class Software Testing Level 1
Rajesh Prasad is a co-lead for the Software Testing Level 1 class offered as part of East Bay Programs. A software engineer by profession, he has been working in the Bay Area for more than 15 years. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family and pursue his passion for woodworks. Rajesh joined the Inclusive World team as he liked its cause and the idea of making a difference in someone’s life in addition to the opportunity to make new friends.
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 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.
Anmol was first introduced to IW by his friend and fellow volunteer Akshay Kirane. When he learned about our cause he was moved by our mission and purpose, as he strongly believes that every person in the world has something to offer and that everyone has the opportunity to learn from anyone. Inclusive World’s goal to provide a purpose to differently-abled kids deeply resonated with him and that was what ultimately led him to his current role. Before joining Inclusive World, his childhood friend, Akshay began a channel called “The Bootstrappers”. His and Akshay’s goal was to make education accessible to everyone and they did this by teaching engineering concepts through YouTube! So far, his time in IW has been great! He is impressed by the level of caliber students demonstrate and the hard work our volunteers put in one-on-one, especially the leadership they take to create a safe space for the IW students to practice their vocational skills. He greatly enjoys interacting with the students and spending time with them.
Anmol completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Mumbai University. He has a Master’s in Management from Kellogg School of Management. He is currently based in Boston, New York, while his family is in Mumbai. Anmol currently works at Wayfair as a Senior Analyst leading Prospecting & customer growth for one of their specialty brands. We are so glad to have you join hands in helping fulfill our mission!
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!!
We want to welcome Anja Barkenaes to the Newsletter team! Anja joined the team as “she wants to work with youth on a project that has long-lasting impact on the community. The Newsletter allows Inclusive World to update its members on new things to look out for and helps expose the larger community to the mission of IW and the opportunities available to them.” She was drawn to Inclusive World as it is her passion to work with various age groups and community issues.
She is a veteran volunteer and has been volunteering in the community since middle school, with organizations like Play On, Top Soccer, and Transition Homeless. Anja says, “My life goal is to eventually work for an NGO, such as the ACLU, that works for those who’ve been systematically disadvantaged.” She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Law, Societies, and Justice, with a minor in Norwegian at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a dual citizen of Norway and the United States and though she is a Portlander at heart, having grown up in Portland, Oregon, Seattle has become her second home. Her advice to new volunteers is to try something new and excitedly shares that joining the Newsletter Team has given her new confidence and friends. We are so very happy to have Anja on board and look forward to Anja assuming the role of Newsletter Coordinator very soon!
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!
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!”
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!