Chinmayi Chittamuri

How did you earn The Congressional Award?

The Congressional Award allowed me to gain an appreciation for public service, self-reliance, discipline, and leadership. I learned how to set and reach goals based on my passions and areas of interest. This program helped me grow individually and within my community.

Volunteer Public Service:

1) My goal was to help bring STEM education to more schools around the United States to prepare students for their future careers, as well as increase awareness for the STEM field in both educational and career environments. To achieve my goal, I have been actively doing a volunteer internship with the ‘Chapter Development’ department within the ‘National STEM Honor Society’ (NSTEM). As part of this internship, I regularly conducted research to build lists of prospective schools and educators, formulated templates to send to educators through a CRM platform, and helped raise over$40K+ for a partner organization. Through this internship, I learned how to effectively communicate my ideas and progress updates with other members of the Chapter Development department within NSTEM.I was also able to learn and implement best practices around time management so that I can meet my milestone deliverables on time to meet NSTEM’s altruistic goals. 

2) My second goal was to volunteer with a local environmental group(s) and do my part in protecting clean water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, and science. I participated in the following activities: (a) As part of The Watershed Institute’s Stream Watch bacterial action team (BACTS), I collected water samples from 2 local water bodies for 7 weeks during summer to support the testing for E. coli bacteria levels in the water (b)After attending the Community Watershed Advocacy Program (or CWAP for short) conducted by The Watershed Institute, I actively participated in regular discussions for 4 weeks with other advocates to come up with ideas for advocacy within the communities. Then, as part of advocacy activities, I shared information that I learnt with families within my community. I successfully completed a certification exam conducted by the Watershed Institute. (c) I volunteered to help organize the annual signature events conducted by the Watershed Institute, like the “Butterfly Festival” and “The Origins of Halloween Night Hike.” (d) I also documented a video on my “plogging” experience (jogging and picking up trash) which gained its place on the official North Brunswick Township Environmental Commission website. 

3) For my third goal, I offered free tutoring to motivated low-income students attending Title 1 schools or live in low-income zip code in the US who can’t afford private tutoring and often don’t have anyone else they can turn to for help. I did tutoring via UPchieve, a free, online platform that connects low-income students in the US with live, volunteer coaches (like me) any time they need it. 

4) For my fourth goal, I volunteered by serving as a leader in other student-run business oriented organizations such as the Youth Economic Initiative (YEI) and Girls For Business (GFB). For the YEI, I served as the COO & President where I managed 80+ staff members, assisted in hosting speaker events with Duke/UCLA professors, and spearheaded a new research-shadow program linking YEI staff together to conduct research in the economics and business fields. For GFB, I recruited 7+ coordinators and managed the organization’s finances, contacted national sponsors & managed 20+ grant applications, created revenue source &expenditure reports, and held both a GoFundMe and Krispy Kreme coupon fundraiser.

Personal Development:

1) While continuing to learn Carnatic music, my goal was to (a) accomplish formal certification in Carnatic (South Indian classical) music, with distinction, from a reputed international university and (b) to publish content on the internet that will showcase the skills that I acquired as well as benefit other students preparing for Carnatic music examinations. To achieve my goal, I prepared regularly for the Senior Certification exam from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University conducted by Silicon Andhra SAMPADA. I learnt, practiced, video recorded and published renderings of all 72 melakarta raga compositions of Dr. Balamuralikrishna and many other challenging compositions of other composers. To aid Carnatic music students taking certification exams, I created content on the biographies of Carnatic music composers. The skills that I gained helped me to achieve the Senior Certificate with Distinction in Carnatic Classical Vocal Singing from the Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University in affiliation with the SiliconAndhra SAMPADA program. 

2) My second goal was to expand my knowledge in the business, finance, and marketing fields so that I can get a head start into understanding fundamental business related concepts for my future higher studies and subsequent careers in the business related fields. Along the way, I earned digital credentials (also known as digital badges) that were recorded on my LinkedIn profile to demonstrate skills, abilities, and knowledge experienced outside my high school classes. I also regularly connected with other individuals in the business related fields on LinkedIn to expand and grow my professional network.

Physical Fitness:

My physical fitness goal was to build my strength and endurance by walking and biking. I walked/biked outside in the summer months on a regular basis, and ran/walked either outside or within my home on the treadmill. I measured my timing (speed), calorie burn, and heart rate to measure my improvement of stamina over time. My skill level advanced both in biking as well as running/walking. For both, I was able to perform at a faster pace and for longer duration. I was also able to increase my calorie burn.


Due to the pandemic, I did a virtual exploration of India. I combined my passion for cooking to create two traditional Indian recipes, and studied the landmarks, cities, architecture, and national parks of India to create write-ups on what I learned. I was able to learn more about my homeland and connect more to the cultures based on the knowledge I gained from the virtual explorations. 

What are your current ambitions?

I am currently a high school senior at Central Jersey College Prep Charter School in Somerset, NJ. I am planning on pursuing a career in the business field and majoring in finance or economics in my undergraduate education next year. I am very interested in continuing to be a part of The Congressional Award community as an Ambassador and rooted deeply in making an impact on my community in my own ways, such as by promoting women in business and environmental advocacy. 

Where do you find your motivation? 

My family (mom, dad, and twin brother), as well as my friends are extremely important to me and always continue to support and motivate me in all my endeavors! Networking with professionals in the business field also gives me motivation to pursue my dreams and work towards achieving them!