After a brief summer blogging hiatus as your India liaison, I’m back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. I hope your summers left you feeling equally as refreshed.
So I have some good news and some FANTASTIC news for you. The good news is that I’ll also be taking over coverage duties of Starfish One by One, our partner school in Guatemala. Given my background minoring in Hispanic Studies in college, I’m extremely excited to learn more about Latin America and write about Starfish. So expect to hear from me more often!
And now for the FANTASTIC news! Guess who will be joining the elite ranks of Goldman Sachs employees in India? Give up? Not one, not two, but THREE Shanti Bhavan students! Two of whom are girls! Pushpa, Stella and Viji (pictured), of the first graduating class at Shanti Bhavan, will be starting with Goldman Sachs in Bangalore. In order to be awarded this well-deserved position they had to go through 2 rounds of testing out of which the pool was narrowed down to 54 students. Then they went through 2 rounds of interviews, after which the pool was narrowed to 30. They then had to go through a final round of interviews and they ALL ended up being chosen!
I cannot even begin to describe to you how excited we are for them! Given the general bias against girls in India, this is SO BEYOND AMAZING and a true indicator of just how big an impact Shanti Bhavan is making. So many kids here would be thrilled to be in their position, and Pushpa and Stella beat all odds and are among the best, most elite young professionals in India! Ajit George, Director of Operations at Shanti Bhavan agrees. “I cannot express to you both how gratified and fulfilled I feel. It’s like the end of a 16+ year journey with them–finally reaching what we always thought was possible. When [Shanti Bhavan] was started, so many people said that there was no way kids from poverty would ever do so well, that maybe they’d do a bit better than their parents, but that was it… white collar jobs were out of the question. We were just sort of dreaming. Now three of our graduates have beaten the best and gotten the toughest jobs to get in India on a level playing field. It took so much to get here, but their futures are so bright and amazing and with their successes, these young ladies will go on to change the world.”
This is a great moment for all of us at She’s the First to step back and reflect on WHY it is that we do what we do. Shanti Bhavan changed the course of history for these girls, as it does for all its students, and gave them opportunities that were unfathomable to their families just a generation ago. It is moments like this that inspire me to take all the opportunities I have and keep doing what I’m passionate about and take on the world. How about you?