• April 5, 2024

    Junior named one of six Junior Women of Achievement

    Nikhita Thakuria An Upper St. Clair High School junior was recently honored at the 2024 Women of Achievement Awards, sponsored by the nonprofit Cribs for Kids. Nikhita Thakuria was one of six junior award winners at the 17th annual event on March 27, 2024, in the Grand Ballroom of the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

    The Women of Achievement Awards is an annual ceremony dedicated to highlighting the incredible feats and accomplishments of women in the Pittsburgh region. The event serves as an annual declaration, attributing the contributions of women to remarkable successes in the city’s history.

    “I am very honored to have received this award and it was a shock to be appreciated this way,” Nikhita said. “I owe this to my mother as she is the woman who has taught me about this world and has pushed me since I was a baby. She has a beautiful soul and is always striving to make herself better. Since I was young, I knew I wanted to be like her.”

    Last year, Nikhita founded Quills and Keyboard, an international writing contest for high school and college students. The contest covers several categories, including Poetry, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Short Stories, Personal Essays/Memoirs, Speeches, Journalism, Critical Essays, Humor, and Flash Fiction.

    “Quills and Keyboard's main goal is to create a global community of international writers and this competition reflected that,” Nikhita said. “Every submission would receive feedback on their pieces of writing and there would be no entry fee or limitations to the contest. We also have formed our judging criteria to facilitate those whose first language is not English.”

    Coordinating a book drive had been a long-time goal for Nikhita. In late February, she was able to make her goal a reality when she hosted a two-day book drive to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of American organization.

    “I believe everyone deserves access to a good education. Especially those who have served our country and sacrificed years of their lives that they will never get back,” Nikhita said.

    Held for the first time since 2020, this year’s Women of Achievement Awards recognized 20 Women of Achievement, two National Women of Achievement and six Junior Women of Achievement. View the full list of 2024 honorees.

    Proceeds from the event benefit Cribs for Kids, a National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative founded in Pittsburgh in 1998.