Education  India Project #39535

Mission: University

by The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission
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Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
Mission: University
The entire Mission University team...mostly.
The entire Mission University team...mostly.

It began two years ago with 8 students and has grown to 19 with our latest batch of enrollments.

Nineteen kids in college at once! As you might imagine, it’s a logistic, bureaucratic, and financial challenge that requires the support and commitment of many people from many different countries.

This year, we have a few firsts in the program.

Kelly and Jimika will be the first to study law. They’ll be attending Uttranchal University, considered one of the top private law schools in India. Their program is a 5-year master’s program that is sure to challenge them both. Kelly hopes to be a child advocate attorney and Jimika has plenty of time to figure out her specialty.

Trudy will be attending Graphic Era University, studying Business while Nancy will be taking a break from teaching to earn her 2-year B.Ed teach certificate, Gordon will be studying Computer Science, and Sabithri will be working towards her BA and a teaching degree to follow. 

It was a challenging year for college students everywhere last year, with Covid restrictions and lockdowns making remote learning necessary. At the moment, it seems that the latest wave is calming down, all of our students are fully vaccinated, and we are hopeful that college life will return to “normal” for the 2021-2022 school year. Time will tell.

For the record: Clifford (Bio-Tech), Jessica (Journalism), Basanti (Nursing), Kamal (Phys. Ed.), Sonia (BA Social Work) and Job (Political Science) are all on track to graduate in one year’s time. At that time, Sunny will have 2 more years in a 5-year Architecture program and Reeva will have 1 more in a 4-year Travel & Tourism program.) Considering 50% of Indian students drop out before graduation, we are beating the odds. Great job to everyone.

We had five students join the program last year. In all, our two English students: Maya & Rosey…our two Hotel Management students: Kurena & Chandani…and our International Finance student: Jackie…all passed and are ready for year two. 

For everyone who took part in our July Bonus fundraiser, it was a huge success. As expect our $3000 in matching money didn’t last long, maxing out in only TEN MINUTES! That’s 600 seconds.

Huge thanks to our many supporters who stayed up late in Australia or woke up early in California to take part in the 9AM Eastern dash for free cash event. In the end, we raised more than $36,000 and ranked 2nd overall on the leader board out of 1406 participating organization. Incredible!

Paying for 19 students to go to college all at once is a big job, but we’re nearly there for another year. If you’d like to become a university sponsor, there is one student remaining. Just email me at john@teachher.org and I’ll give you all the details. 

This time next year, we'll have our first graduates...and 7 more students ready to enroll. Thank you all for caring enough to help these students aim higher and dream bigger. 

Sincerely,

John


Jimika and Kelly, our new law students!
Jimika and Kelly, our new law students!
The Seven Students getting ready for next year
The Seven Students getting ready for next year
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Clifford (2nd row on right) with a few classmates.
Clifford (2nd row on right) with a few classmates.

The uniqueness of the times continues to make this a period all of us will never forget. This is certainly true for the members of the Mission: University program. After most of a semester at home, 13 students returned to school in February, some for the first time.

New uniforms, new classes, new friends, new hope. It hasn’t been perfect; there is still too much online learning and social distancing…but there have also been plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Kurena, in her first semester of Hotel Management finished at the very top of her class. And Clifford, now halfway finished with his Bio-Technology degree, earned extremely high marks, technically second in the program, but in the high 90 percentile! He also won a trophy for a speech he gave on water sanitation, earing the “Best Scientific Presentation” award at his college.

All students passed all subjects, moving on to either their 4th semester or their 2nd. Their effort and ability are making us all proud.

Sadly, due to a renewed outbreak of Covid-19 across India, all colleges have closed once again, and students are returning to the mission as this note is being written. They’ll have to endure a strict quarantine before entering the wider mission family, but this is a routine most of us are familiar with by now.

As a side note, I’m happy to announce: The Mission: University program has inspired a larger effort called Teach Her, providing college education to orphaned girls around the world. You can learn all about Teach Her at www.teachher.org where you will find many of the Mission: University young women posing as pioneers and spokesmodels for the program.

You can also follow Teach Her on social media like Facebook and Instagram for inspirational stories and successes from the field. With our recent expansion into Nepal and partnerships forming in Zimbabwe and Uganda, the movement that began here is spreading out, changing the world one amazing young woman at a time.

Thank you all so much for your generosity and support. We’ll be welcoming 6 new students to our program in the coming months and here’s hoping the air clears in the days ahead, allowing schools to reopen and in-person learning to resume.

Stay safe and be well,

John

Kurena (on right) with her M: U roommate Chandani.
Kurena (on right) with her M: U roommate Chandani.
The Teach Her homepage featuring M:U student Maya!
The Teach Her homepage featuring M:U student Maya!
New Mission: University students ready to enroll.
New Mission: University students ready to enroll.

Links:

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Chandani looking up from an online class
Chandani looking up from an online class

After a year like 2020, we are not sad to see it coming to an end. 

For our Mission: University students, 2020 has meant remote learning as all participants saw their schools shut down, like so many students around the world. So classes were conducted on laptops or on phones, often overcoming internet connection issues, missing out on the experience of college, but moving forward none the less. 

For new students like Coreena and Chandani, missing the first semester of Hotel Management school was a disappointment as so much of their course work involves labs and hands-on activities. For Maya and Rosey, new Engilsh (Hons) students, their fisrt semester involved lots of onine presentations while remaining at the mission. The same was true for Jackie, our International FInance student who missed semester 1 at his top private institution. But all schools will be opening up again after the first of the year, as the country of India starts allowing students to return to campus.

Basanti is already back in her hostel for her 2nd year in nursing college, and Sunny is back to school as well, for year 2 of his 5 year architectural degree program. The remainder of our students will be returning to class in the first week of January, so lots of excitement lies ahead. 

One exciting development has been the purchase of new laptops for our students thanks to the generosity of so many of our sponsors. Nearly every student in the program will be returning to their classrooms with a powerful new computer to help them complete their course work. It costs about $600 US for a quality machine, a protective case and a wireless mouse, should anyone be interested in sponsoring a student's laptop. Just let us know. A fund has been set up specifically for this purpose.

And so, as we close the books on what has been one of the most challenging years on record, we look forward to the healing and opening of the world in the days ahead. And we thank everyone of you for your generosity and support. We could not do this work and they would not get this opportunity without all of you.

May we all stay healthy and safe in the new year. 

It's not the same, but classes are continuing.
It's not the same, but classes are continuing.
Jackie starting his International Finance program.
Jackie starting his International Finance program.
Coreena trying to pay attention in class.
Coreena trying to pay attention in class.
Maya and Rosey working on their English.
Maya and Rosey working on their English.
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Mission: University - New Group Shot
Mission: University - New Group Shot

As every parent of a college student knows…it’s a strange time to be in college.

As the pandemic continues around the world, as India is now 3rd in overall cases and 4th in deaths, Indian universities are forced to make difficult decisions about safety and how best to educate.

For our Mission: University students, this means remote learning for now. On computers and phones, listening to lectures online, making the best of a less-than-perfect situation.

For Clifford and Sunny, our future Bio-Technician and Architect-in-training, it means no hands-on practical lessons in fields that rely on hands-on, practical lessons. Not ideal, but the show must go on.

There’s a lot of unknowns at the moment, but still…the gears of academia continue to spin and we are pleased to announce our original eight Mission: University students are now joined by five more.

Careena and Chandani (not pictured) will be studying Hotel Management at the well-respected Dev Bhoomi University.

Rosey and Maya will be studying English Honours at the prestigious DIT University.

And Jackie will be attending Graphic Era Hill University (where his sister Jessica began last year), studying International Business.

We could not be prouder of our ambitious students or more grateful for the sponsors who have stepped up to support them. Our Elite 8 have become the Lucky 13…with many more on deck for next year!

For anyone who might be interested in officially sponsoring a student, there are a few partnerships currently available.

Sunny – Year 2 of 5 – Architecture – Dev Bhoomi University

Job – Year 2 of 3 – History & Political Science – Allahabad University

Kamal – Year 2 of 3 – Physical Education – Jaspal Rana University

Reeva – Year 2 of 3 – Travel & Tourism Management – Himgiri Zee University

Chandani – Year 1 of 4 – Hotel Management – Dev Bhoomi University

If you’d like to be more directly involved, just reach out and let us know. We can fill you in on all the details.

What the future holds for next semester, no parent can predict. But our students are buckling down, knowing that in or out of the classroom, you get what you put into your university education.

Thanks for all your support during these challenging times. As Year Two of the program begins, we are thrilled to be offering this rare and precious opportunity to more of our kids. I can tell you, they're all excited to shuttle off to their respective campuses in the months ahead.

We’ll keep you posted.

Stay safe and well,

John

Maya and Rosey ready to study English!
Maya and Rosey ready to study English!
Jessica, Sonya, Reeva and Basanti in the library.
Jessica, Sonya, Reeva and Basanti in the library.
Kamal our Physical Education Teacher.
Kamal our Physical Education Teacher.
Coreena waiting for the kitchen classroom.
Coreena waiting for the kitchen classroom.
Sunny our future architect.
Sunny our future architect.
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As T.S. Elliot once wrote: “April is the cruelest month.”

This year, as the world has sheltered at home and worked to make sense of the evolving Covid-19 outbreak, our Mission: University program has had to adapt just like everyone else.

Since the middle of March, most schools in India closed and our students were sent home. Then, on March 24th, the entire country of India was put on strict lockdown…all 1.3 billion people…with harsh punishments for driving and virtually all unnecessary movement. This order is in place until May 3rd.

Students have been doing classwork on the computer and completing assessments online as they await the news concerning the future of their respective programs. At this time, it’s unclear what college students in any country will be doing before the end of the term, but we’ll keep you posted.

Most importantly, all students are safe and healthy. In fact, there have been no cases of the coronavirus within the mission gate’s, which is a blessing...with very few cases in the whole state.

This fall, we’ll have three more students joining our Mission: University roster (Rosey, Coreena and Jackie), bringing our total to 11. We couldn’t be more proud of the work our kids are doing and look forward to more successes as our program unfolds.

For now, like the rest of the world, we’ll just wait and see. From all of us at the Mission: University program, we hope you are also safe and well, with the cruelest month behind you. Here’s to better days ahead. We’ll get there.

Thanks for all your support,

John

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Organization Information

The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission

Location: Dist Champawat, Uttarakhand - India
Website:
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Twitter: @indianorphanage
Project Leader:
John Marshall
Dist Champawat, Uttarakhand India
$104,958 raised of $125,000 goal
 
275 donations
$20,042 to go
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