In the corner of her laptop, Tarini Krishna has a sticker that says, “Empowered women empower women.” Those four words inspired her to become a mentor at Ms. President US, and to seek out opportunities. In December of her freshman year, Tarini placed second in a debate tournament run by the Connecticut Debate Association, qualifying her as the only female varsity debater in her entire class at RHS. Although she loved debate, she noticed there was a gender imbalance within her team. When presented with the opportunity to help coach the East Ridge Middle School debate team, she immediately joined because she recognized that it was the perfect opportunity to encourage ambitious girls like her to continue debating in high school and overcome the gender imbalance on the team.
However, Tarini also loves justice, which led her to become the captain of her mock trial team. In 2017 she was awarded “Best Mocker In The State” by Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Robinson during the Mock Trial State Championship. She then competed with her team at the National competition in Hartford. As a formerly shy person, mock trial helped her develop her public speaking skills and confidence, and Tarini enjoyed sharing those traits with the girls at Ms. President US through her debate presentation at last December’s panel. One of her most memorable moments at Ms. President US was hearing the girls debate each other on topics from school uniforms to whether chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla.
Tarini also had an incredibly memorable experience after her junior year of high school when she attended the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State. She was reminded of Ms President US’s mission as she learned about Connecticut government, listened to speakers like State Senator Mae Flexer and Senator Blumenthal, and drafted bills with her peers. However, what stood out to her the most was the culture of empowerment among the girls as her peers ran for leadership positions. Due to constant encouragement and support by her friends, Tarini ran for and was elected to Senate Minority Leader and Board of Education Chairwoman. She hopes girls at Ms. President US have a chance to attend Girls State.
In the current political climate, Tarini has also realized that there is no better time to take action than now, and that led her to become a senator on her class student government and an organizing fellow with Fight Back Connecticut, the campaign to re-elect Senator Chris Murphy and Democrats up and down the ballot in the 2018 midterm elections. Tarini hopes to inspire young girls to take action when they see a problem they are passionate about fixing. For Tarini, that was ensuring that people are participating in the democratic system the U.S. prides itself on.
Besides empowering young girls in within her own town, Tarini is the captain of the Turning Pages club at school that promotes literacy globally and fundraises to educate underprivileged children in Sierra Leone, Nepal, and at the Social Outreach Foundation school in New Delhi, India. In 2015 Tarini visited the SOF school and gained a new perspective on the value of education– something she had always taken for granted. Tarini decided she wanted to advocate for education within her state, and that led her to apply for a student position on the Connecticut State Board of Education. In July she was appointed to the position by the governor, and she intends to advocate for equitable education throughout the state.
In her free time, Tarini loves to volunteer with Meals on Wheels and National Charity League. She has won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for the past three years and has been the Vice President and President of her NCL class. She also loves to travel, read, and dance. Tarini is also passionate about writing and writes for her school magazine, The Ridgefielder, covering opinion, feature, and poetry pieces.
Tarini looks forward to mentoring the girls at Ms President U.S. and hopes to inspire them to take on leadership roles in the high school and beyond.