Everyone's Columbia story is unique, which is why we are excited to share them!
Keep an eye on this page for student blogs, vlogs, photo essays and more.
Stories about students, by students.
Chinmayi Balusu (she/her) is graduating this Spring from Columbia College. Her time at Columbia has deepened her passion for neuroscience's intersections with other academic disciplines like public health, and her desire to focus on patient-centered clinical research. Along the way, she's launched a non-profit focused on supporting early neuroscience education, outreach and awareness.
Krisna grew up with her father, an engineer, teaching her how to fix things around the house when they needed repair. But it was Krisna’s grandmother, Premila, who she says overcame many challenges throughout her life that would provide Krisna the opportunity to attend Columbia and become an engineer.
Vlogs coming soon!
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“My mom has been working for minimum wage for 28 years and seeing her leave for work at 4PM on one day and coming back at 6AM the next day just so our family can stay afloat in America, drove me to make the most of the education I had the privilege of getting here. Her hard work and grit continues to motivate me today as I try to harness all the opportunities here at Columbia.”
"I feel like I’ve had a lot of firsts in my life. My high school opened the year that I started there so I was in the first class of my high school. Now the same thing is happening at the Climate School. I’m in the first class there. I’m also the first one in my family to get any sort of college degree. So the fact that I'm doing a masters is huge for me and my family both."
“I want to make sure I’m showing people that look like me, and come from what I’ve been through, that you can do it and you can do it anywhere. Don’t sell yourself short. I didn’t think I was going to get into a Columbia grad program ever. I think future generations seeing people that look like them go through it and be a resource for them and give them some tips along the way is helpful."
“I feel that for me to share my first-gen identity is to say: 'hey, I’m being vulnerable with you and I’m letting you know that I’m coming from a place that I do not know'. I am the first. I am a trailblazer. I feel that it highlights my strength, my resilience and willingness to go beyond the standard that was placed in front of me.”