The Story of Shyamala Gopalan Harris

Once upon a time, in India, there was a 19-year-old girl named Shyamala. Shyamala was studying at the Lady Irwin College, the most exclusive school for girls in New Delhi, and her family had great expectations from that institution, but pretty soon, Shyamala and her parents realized that she wasn’t being taught the necessary skills to make important work! She was taught how to be the wife of a man who did important work. 

“You’re too smart for that!” her parents told her and he encouraged her to apply for a masters program at the University of Berkeley in California. 

The day the response from Berkeley University arrived was filled with trepidation. She had been accepted in the program and that meant that now she had to move on her own on the other side of the world.

It was hard to say her goodbye’s at the airport: Shyamala didn’t want to leave her family and friends behind, and she was scared to move to a place where she didn’t know anyone but, in her heart, she knew that attending that master would give her the opportunity to help find a cure for cancer and that was more important than her fear.