Fellows Class of 2016

NJLP Summer 2016 Fellow Biographies


Shreya Marathe


Shreya Marathe

Hometown: West Windsor

Placement: Office of Community Relations, Governor Chris Christie

Shreya Marathe is currently an undergraduate student at Tufts University, where she is planning to concentrate on Political Science, Economics, and American Studies. She is a member of the Tufts Debate Society and Model United Nations, in which she engages in debates on topics ranging from philosophy, economics, and various international issues. While she spends her semesters in Boston, Shreya resides in her hometown of West Windsor.

She is also active in the Tufts University Bhangra Team, a dance team in which she travels across the country to perform. Shreya is also a passionate volunteer with Debate Mate USA, a program through which she teaches debate and communications skills to children throughout Boston.


Nikhil Lahiri


Nikhil Lahiri

Hometown: Somerset

Placement: Assemblyman Joe Danielsen

Nikhil Lahiri currently attends Rutgers Preparatory School and will be entering his third year of high school. He is active in the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra and is a member of his school’s varsity tennis team. He holds leadership position in his school’s Business and Entrepreneurship Program and Philosophy Club. He currently resides in his hometown of Somerset in Franklin Township.

His career aspirations include studying political science in college, working in the field of politics, and eventually entering public service. He is also interested in economics, philosophy, history, music, and sports. Nikhil decided to apply to be a New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because of his deep interest in the field of politics and government. He is eager to make an impact in his community and learn more about the power of public service with this program. He is looking forward a summer full of learning and new experiences.


Gita Ganti


Gita Ganti

Hometown: Piscataway

Placement: Senator Bob Smith

Gita Ganti currently attends Rutgers Preparatory School and will be entering her fourth year of high school. She is active in Student Government, Varsity Cross Country, and Model Congress, and holds leadership positions as the School President, and an Editor for her School Literary Magazine. She currently resides in her hometown of Piscataway.

Her career aspirations include planning campaign strategies and promoting the election of certain candidates as a political consultant. She is also interested in music; she is a member of The Madrigals Singers, the RockNRoll Chorus, and the New Jersey All-State Women’s Choir. After receiving her diploma in Bharatanatyam in 2014, she continues to teach students at The Abhinaya School of Dance. Gita decided to apply to be a New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because she is eager to explore a career in government, and make a positive impact on her community.


Aayush Gandhi


Aayush Gandhi

Hometown: South Plainfield

Placement: Senator Patrick Diegnan, Jr.

Aayush Gandhi currently attends South Plainfield High School and will be entering his fourth year year of high school. He is active in the Model United Nations Club, Math Team and Robotics team, and holds a leadership position with his high school’s Robotics Team. He currently resides in his hometown of South Plainfield.

His career aspirations include becoming a Mechanical Engineer, and is interested in painting and sketching. Aayush decided to apply and be a part of the New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because of his interest in politics and the functioning of government bodies at different levels.


Indhu Kanakaraj


Indhu Kanakaraj

Hometown: Bayonne

Placement: Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight

Indhu Kanakaraj currently attends High Tech High School and will be entering her fourth year of high school. She is an active volunteer at her local hospital and the Liberty Science Center. She holds leadership positions within her school as President of the Science Club and Treasurer of the American Cancer Society Club. Indhu currently resides in her hometown of Bayonne.

Her career aspirations include becoming successful in the field of medicine as an Oncologist. She is also interested in badminton, karate, judo, reading, and tutoring. Indhu decided to apply to be a New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because of her interest in learning about public administration. She also hopes to explore a career in law and public service.


Fnu Mahnoor


Fnu Mahnoor

Hometown: Jersey City

Placement: Assemblyman Raj Mukherji

Fnu Mahnoor currently attends County Prep High School and will be entering her third year of high school. She is active in her school’s Interact Club, Key Club, Bowling Club, and holds leadership position in organizing fundraisers for Interact Club and arranging trips for the Bowling Club. She currently resides in her hometown of Jersey City.

Her career aspirations include becoming a Prosecutor or potentially teaching. She also hope to create her own business one day, and having her own charity group that helps people in third world countries. Fnu decided to apply to be a New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because she is eager to explore the world from a different point of view, to learn, and have first-hand experience in a field that affects the lives of residents in her community.


Bharati Ganesh


Bharati Ganesh

Hometown: West Windsor

Placement: Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio

Bharati Ganesh currently attends West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, and will be entering her third year of high school this fall. She is active with her school newspaper called the Knightly News, hosts radio shows on her school’s radio station 107.9 FM, tutors elementary school students in her district and is part of her town’s Democratic Club. She also holds leadership positions as a local chapter leader for the New Jersey High School Democrats and as a founding member of her library’s Teen Advisory Board. She currently resides in West Windsor, New Jersey.

Her career aspirations include leadership roles in political campaigns and public policy. Her interests include reading, writing, and debating. Bharati decided to apply to be a New Jersey Leadership Program Summer Fellow because she wanted the chance to meet influential politicians and policy makers from across the state who mentor young South Asians. And, she felt that it was important to encourage her South Asian peers to consider a career in politics.


NJLP Junior Summer Fellows


Akul Umamageswaran

Arnav Jain

Thomas Weatherbee