Students at Christel House India – Bangalore (CHIB) posted exceptional results as the Grade 10 SSLC (Senior School Leaving Certificate) Board results were released. 100% of the class passed and nearly all passed with first class and distinction marks according to Jaison C Mathew, CEO, Christel House India. Heena (pictured) received the highest marks with an impressive 97.3% overall.
“The SSLC is the first benchmark of academic achievement for students throughout India,” says Dr. Ponath Abhimanyu Maya, Principal K-12, CHIB. She describes the exam as a requirement for admissions into pre-university courses and then into degree colleges. “This is important for our students because many of them are first generation learners in their families,” she says. “This is a proud moment for the students and parents.” While remote learning due to the pandemic during their 9th grade year created learning gaps for most students, teachers worked with the kids to develop strategic and aggressive plans to make sure all students were prepared for the board exams. This included after-school remedial classes and a series of mock exams. “The teachers were elated at the results,” says Maya. “It was very satisfying to see that we achieved the desired target.”
Divya R. has landed her dream job as a Testing Engineer at Daimler Trucks Innovation Centre India. It’s no small achievement for the 2017 Christel House India graduate. “Christel House encouraged and gave me the courage to speak up and question status quo,” says Divya. “This made me an independent individual.”
Divya says it was hard growing up in a single parent, financially challenged home. Joining Christel House in kindergarten changed her life. “At Christel House, students are encouraged to be independent individuals who can bring a difference in their communities.” Looking back, Divya believes that while challenges made her resilient, Christel House shaped her as the well-rounded person that she is today. “My school exposed and broadened my worldview and gave me an added advantage over many of my peers.” With a scholarship from Christel House, she credits the College & Careers program in helping her choose a college. “I graduated with a B.E. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology.” She is enjoying learning all the operations at Daimler. Divya calls Christel DeHaan, the late Founder of Christel House, her fairy godmother. “No words can express how grateful I am for everything she has done for the world.”
Deepak K. has fond memories of his experiences at Christel House India. “I cherished every moment of my school life,” says the successful 2011 graduate. “School was my comfort when things were hard at home,” he says. “My school was my pillar.”
Deepak joined Christel House in fifth grade. The difference was stark. “I experienced quality education which was denied in the school I studied up to Grade 4,” he says. “Having access to the Christel House library, music room, a computer lab, and a spacious playground were all facilities I couldn’t even dream of before.” The friendly environment and supportive teachers guided Deepak through graduation. With the College & Careers program, Deepak launched a career in the hospitality industry taking an internship at Oberoi, a five-star hotel in Bangalore. In 2016 he joined the cruise industry, working as a restaurant supervisor for Costa Cruises, based out of Italy. With the pandemic impact on the travel industry, Deepak has returned to Bangalore to take a position as Senior Analyst for Concentrix, a leader in business customer experience solutions. “Christel House helped me develop a strong educational foundation,” says Deepak. “I am grateful to Christel Ma’am and the teachers and staff at Christel House India for helping me dream and making them come true!”
Christel House India – Bangalore (CHIB) alumni are volunteering to tutor students at Christel House – Atal Nagar. Nagashree Hanumanthappa, a 2019 graduate, jumped at the chance to help tutor the young ones. “You wouldn’t believe how delightful it is to be part of their learning journey,” the engineering student says.
The pandemic has created learning gaps for children. “The students in Atal Nagar have been severely challenged due to the school closure,” says Jaison C. Mathew, Christel House India CEO. While the school has reopened for in-person classes, the Alumni Tutoring Program (ATP) was launched to provide young students with role models and online math and literacy support. “I will be forever grateful for what I received from Christel House India,” says Priyanka Devaraj, 2015 grad and now a Threat Analyst at Sophos. “These kids are where I was when I was a kid myself. Now it’s my turn to help the same way I received help back then.” For Shamli S., a 2011 grad and content analyst, it’s not only about academic tutoring but setting examples and boosting the confidence of the young students. “I encourage them to ask questions and guide them to develop the best study skills.” All participating graduates were grateful to give back. David Simon T., class of 2019, sums up the experience. “The bonding has become so strong with these students,” he says. “I want to give the best to my little brothers and sisters.”
For Jayalakshmi S., getting accepted to the top university in India is an honor. But the committed, consistent, and high-achieving 2021 Christel House India graduate faced a dilemma – she didn’t have the financial resources to attend the prestigious university. Then a team of supporters stepped forward to make her dream come true.
Jayalakshmi’s roots are humble. She lives with her father, mother, and a younger brother in a rented two-room house, where even basic needs like water and electricity are unreliable and minimal. Her mother has debilitating health issues. Her father lost his job due to the pandemic. When donors learned of the challenges Jayalakshmi faced, they rallied to her support, raising funds to pay all her school fees! In a heart-felt letter, she thanked her supporters. “For a child like me who has no access to many facilities in life, this is certainly a dream come true,” she wrote. “Thanks to you, your financial assistance motivates me more in achieving my goal.” Jayalakshmi plans to study biology and become a scientist. The past year of the pandemic has deepened her resolve to make a difference. “I promise to work hard and become a successful person,” she promises her supporters. “I hope one day to help others and give back to the community.”
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