Kiara Lavana


Learn more about my interests beyond school!

a picture of me in my kathak dress Kathak

Kathak is one of the 8 major forms of Indian classical dance that originated in North India. I have done this form of dance since I was 5 years old, and currently, I am preparing for my Rang Pravesh, which is a graduation ceremony for every dancer who completes 10 years of training. Kathak has always been an outlet for me where I can express my feelings and take a mental break, so dancing is definitely one of my favorite activities. Plus, every kathak dancer wears their own set of bells on their ankles!

Field Hockey

I started playing field hockey in my freshman year at WA. I got into the sport because field hockey was one of the sports my dad played growing up in India, so by playing I also got to connect more with him. I immediately fell in love with the sport because of how dependent it was on fluid teamwork; in field hockey the statement “your team is only as strong as your weakest link” really holds true. I usually play defense or midfield when on the field.

a picture of kiara's field hockey team at their pink day game a picture of kiara's field hockey team at bancroft a picture of kiara's field hockey team at windsor

a picture of kiara with her swim teammates Swimming

I learned how to swim at 5 years old, but I started competitively swimming when I was 10 years for the Westboro Raiders. Since then, I joined the Varsity swim team at WA where I got to swim at the NEPSAC championships in 2020. I really do enjoy swimming; I love the feeling of being on a team, yet still having to perform individually. Most of all, I love the deep conversations I can have with myself while swimming a set or swimming warm-down.


I started singing when I was 6 , and ever since then, I have kept up my vocal training. At Worcester Academy, I was picked for the Advanced Chorus and took Honors Music Studies for one-on-one training. Singing has always been an outlet for me to take a break from my hectic life and relieve some of my anxiety. At Mass Academy, I have joined the WPI Chorus (including the all girls Alden Voices Choir)!

graphical abstract from STEM1

Lab Work

This year, for my STEM 1 project, I got to join the Faherty Lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital and work under some great mentors to carry out my project. I am currently researching the functionality of differentially expressed genes in the bacterial species Shigella flexneri after exposure to bile salt. With this research, I hope to identify the mechanisms of Shigella’s pathogenesis to the colonic epithelium and help further delineate the mechanism of resistance and survival it employs.


I have always loved biology! It immediately sparked my interest in 5th grade science, and ever since then I have loved everything cellular or medical.

At Worcester Academy, I led my school's Medical Explorations club where we got to visit different biomedical labs and perform different procedures. We also got to communicate with different professionals from different careers throughout the vast medical field.

Over the summer, I got to perform antibiotic susceptibility labs and diagnose an unknown case of MRSA for a Tufts Medical School program. Since it was all at home, I had to set up an at-home lab, complete with an incubator and sterilizer supplies! For the program, I also had to animate, produce, and edit an informative video to educate others on the importance of getting vaccinated! I loved making this video, and luckily, my video even got picked as an Editor's Choice for post-production. Here is a link to my video!: Why Should I Get Vaccinated?

a picture of a bacterial culture a picture of a bacterial culture


Tutoring has always been something I actively seek out to do, whether it be through a school program or a community center. I love helping people finally understand a concept and seeing their progress and confidence grow. At Worcester Academy, I tutored at the Math Lab by helping other high schools with their math homework or any concept they struggled with. I currently also tutor through the India Society of Worcester in Math and English. At Mass Academy, I joined the Rising Stars Initiative to tutor children at Abbey Keller School in middle-school math.