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Profile: Siddhant Desai

Hello Everyone! My name is Siddhant Desai and I am a rising Junior at the Academy for Math Science and Engineering at Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, NJ. I am an avid nature lover and enjoy hiking, biking, and fishing. I play varsity tennis and swim for my school and participate in many social difference clubs such as HOPE Club and Key Club. Additionally, I am very interested in STEM and AI, founding Team Airo (AI Robotics), where we have taught and mentored hundreds of young kids from all backgrounds on various STEM related skills and programs. Additionally I recently created SamurAI, a team that is focused on applying AI and Machine Learning for social good.

From a young age, ever since I could talk and express myself, I have been very curious and inquisitive. Imagine a 4 year old kid, stumbling around, pointing at everything and anything, blabbering “ Mom what is that?” , “Dad, what is that”?. This early obsession, sparked my passion to read and learn. My mind asked and continues to ask questions that compel me to read, research, and learn.

One day in early 2018, I came across an article by National Geographic called, Why Cape Town Is Running Out of Water, and Who’s Next. This immediately caught my eye, as I wondered, “How can humans run out of something as bountiful and basic as water?”. This was my first real experience and insight on the repercussions that climate change has on the world. Climate change had the ability to deprive people in some of the most underprivileged parts of the world like Africa, of a basic resource like water!

I began to dive deeper into the effects of climate change (Article) and learned the magnitude of the impact on people across the world. From places like Africa to India, people all over the world were struggling for basic needs like food, water, and shelter due to climate change. I knew there was a way I could help and I was determined to make a change.

If you remember, earlier in this article I mentioned how I was interested in AI and technology. Here is where that comes in. I set out looking for a way to try and make a difference using technology and AI, a field of particular interest for me. This is where I founded SamurAI, a project focused on working on innovative solutions related to AI and Machine Learning to make a difference in the world. Our first project was detecting places ideal to plant trees and detecting deforestation using satellite imagery.

I want to take my efforts to the next level and reach out to people all over the world to make a real difference. This is where I was fortunate to get connected with FXB Climate Advocates, whose mission and vision truly resonates with me. I hope that with the guidance of the Climate Advocates team, together we will all be able to make a difference in our world. I am super excited to see what I can bring to the table collaborating with like minded highschoolers all over the world that are determined to make a difference!

By: Siddhant Desai

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