Student Spotlight: Nihara Lijan

Nihara with her SCDC trophy!

Nihara with her SCDC trophy!

Hannah Torrey, Writer

Franklin High School junior Nihara Lijan is going to DECA’s Nationals after an incredible turnout at States!

In DECA’s State Career Development Conference in Boston on March 11, Lijan, a member of the club since freshman year, participated in the Innovation Plan competition in which competitors create a product idea and try to sell it.

For her product, with the help of Mr. Bobrowsky, she made a 3D prototype-outline for a mouth guard that can detect neurological injuries like concussions, CTEs, cerebral contusions, and hematoma. The mouth guard would include a geoscope that can take x-ray pictures of the brain and a micro-dynamometer that can measure the rotational force and speed of the head to indicate if there are any concussions present.

Nihara’s mouthguard prototype.

Lijan won 1st place out of 45 in the competition which means she is headed to Nationals. To Lijan, finding out she was headed to Nationals was remote, but still exciting.

“I wasn’t there for the ceremony where I got called up because I was at the SAT,” she said. “I checked my phone and saw 50 texts from a group chat that I got into Nationals. That’s how I found out. I was screaming in my car actually because I was so happy!”

She also had a good time at States with her friends and learned a lot by presenting in front of judges.

Aside from her DECA talent and involvement, Lijan is also involved in activities like Mock Trial (where she serves as an attorney), Science Olympiad, Academic Decathlon, Red Cross Club, A World Of Difference, Distinguished Young Women, FHS Tennis, Pantherbook, and she also works at Pokémoto and the bank.

With Lijan’s busy schedule, when she gets overwhelmed she goes to the library to do homework and not be distracted by anything. She likes to remind herself of what she is doing these activities for, especially Mock Trial and DECA, which are her favorite clubs.

“I feel like those are the clubs that changed me the most personally, but also made me feel the most powerful and showed me my self-worth and full potential which I wasn’t aware of before,” she said.

Although Lijan has clear business talent and loves the idea of making medical products, she wants to pursue a more hands-on career in the medical field.

“I feel like I’m more of a people person,” she said. “I just love the idea of talking to patients and really love working with kids.”

Lijan wants to pursue a career in either pediatrics, cardiothoracics, or neuroscience. Way to go, Nihara!