How many students does it take to create a youth forum in India designed to help young people continue their higher education?
More than 350 sponsored youth and scholarship students in Delhi, India, recently participated in an Unbound youth forum designed to help them learn money-saving practices, leadership skills and public-speaking techniques.
Students deposit 50 rupees (about $1) of their own money into a savings account every time they meet.
The money, along with funds from Unbound, is put in an account and members are able to take out loans from the account to pay for their higher education expenses.
Some forum participants may apply for and receive scholarship grants, and others have the opportunity to take out school loans through Unbound.
Senior students provide personalized counseling and guide the younger members in their academic and career goals.
The youth forum gives sponsored students encouragement and support as they think about and plan for the future.
Deeksha, a youth sponsored through Unbound, participated in the youth forum and shared her experiences with us!
My father takes care of us. He works as a driver, and with the little income he earns he must take care of our family needs.
My mother passed away, so it is just my father, my older brother and myself.
My Unbound sponsorship gives me the opportunity to study in an English-medium school.
Without the sponsorship, it would not be financially possible for me to go to this school.
Studying at English-medium schools can provide a greater opportunity in terms of employment. Unbound also encouraged me in extracurricular activities like sports and dance.
I participate in every cultural activity organized by Unbound and perform classical dance as well.
A few years ago I participated in the national table tennis tournament in India and placed fourth in my state of Utter Pradesh. I am still competing with the confidence I gained.
I joined the youth forum in 2011. We learn new things related to education and our future careers.
We talk with senior students at the youth forum to help guide us to know the right path.
We also discuss the problems we face in everyday life and try to find solutions.
I will soon complete my high school education, and after that I hope to be accepted in one of the top universities in India.
I am not worried about my future university tuition fees because once I am accepted, I can take out a school loan through the youth forum.
I would like to thank my sponsors for supporting me. They are such kind-hearted people. They encourage me through their letters.
What I have achieved is because of their help and Unbound’s help.
Thank you, Richard and JoAnn, my sponsors, for giving me this opportunity.