June 8, 2022

Student Influencer Mirza Samnani reveals how he handles the pressure and makes a positive impact in his field

One of the Seven Social Standards that The Social Institute believes in is: Finding Your Influencers. This means surrounding yourself with positive role models who support you and encourage you to play to your core. To help students find these positive and credible influences, we began our Student Influencer Program. Each week we select a different student to take over our Instagram and highlight how they act as a positive influence and inspiration in their communities.

This week, we are excited to introduce Mirza Samnani. Mirza is a master’s aerospace student at Georgia Tech, working as a Graduate Research assistant in the space systems design lab. He is currently working on a space payload scheduled to fly to the International Space Station later this year. Mirza has participated, won awards, and judged in multiple NASA and other Robotic competitions. On a volunteer basis, he also teaches STEM education to various students and is currently working on a volunteer project to develop a low-cost early warning system for central Asian countries to provide alerts and predictions for natural disasters and climate change. For Mirza, social media is a platform to inspire younger students to pursue education and create the rippling effect of making a positive impact on people’s lives.

mirza samnani

Recently, we interviewed Mirza to learn more about him and how social media impacts his life. Here is what he had to say:

What do you value about yourself or others?

I have the grit to make a positive social impact as a part of my many agendas of self-growth. Using the skills that I learned for NASA projects and competitions, I was able to apply those to medical robots and other life-saving machines during the pandemic.

What are your personal goals?

I wish to help the people living in developing countries by providing them with quality education and quality healthcare, eventually improving their quality of life. My personal goal also involves being fit, spending quality time with my family, and striking a balance in all areas of my life.

What are the things you try to accomplish each day?

Staying on task. I am currently working on a space mission flying to the International Space Station as a part of my research at Georgia Tech. Additionally, I am working on a pro-bono basis for developing a low-cost early warning system for Central Asian countries directly impacting nearly 1 million people that are at risk of natural disasters and climate change. 

What or who inspires you most?

The drive in people to make a positive social impact inspires me the most. I have taught STEM education to over 18,000 students. Giving them a spark for STEM education gives me the motivation to pursue that further. The works of the AKDN (Aga Khan Development Network) and its associated organizations also help me continue the impactful work that I have been doing in the past. I created robots during the pandemic that safeguarded healthcare workers and India’s first automated CPR machine that saved numerous lives. Seeing how my work directly helped save lives was inspirational and what I feel is my top achievement, so far. People who are successful but have focus more on social impact and offering tremendous help to people in need are my role models. It gave me a sense of self-satisfaction to see my robots in the COVID isolation areas putting a smile on people’s faces and sparked curiosity in the younger ones, 

Of our Seven Social standards, which one would you most resonate with and why?

Handle the Pressure. I resonate with handling the pressure the most because I have historically tackled multiple projects and task items at once, and still do. This always keeps me on my toes and under pressure, but it also provides tremendous self-growth opportunities.

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give to him about navigating social media or social relationships?

Social media has a lot of both good and bad information. I would have appreciated more exposure to social media itself, and  learn how maximize its use at a younger age. Building social relationships through social media would have helped me in a professional setting and navigate certain situations in a profound sense.

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being.  Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.