Simil Raghavan directs the EngineerGirl program, aimed at showing all the possibilities of an engineering career to girls in K-12th grades, for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). She received her Ph.D in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2008, where her thesis focused on neural and vocal plasticity as a result of deafness in primates. Simil took a varied path into science and engineering and began her career at the NAE as a Mirzayan fellow in 2007. She grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and spent her childhood learning about farm animals and life on the prairie. She was an avid student who loved math and science, but she had little exposure to engineering and very little idea what careers were possible. After high school she expected to be a teacher and spent three years working in an elementary school before going to college. Once in college she explored several undergraduate majors including social work and Spanish language before discovering engineering in her junior year. Once she made the switch to an engineering major she found an immediate fit and became passionate about improving education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) particularly for under-represented groups and those who may not normally consider a technical career.