Laxmi Rajak (Nepal)
Further education, community service and volunteering - Head, Heart and Hands.
Laxmi graduated Pestalozzi in 2011 and is now studying International Comparative Studies and Mathematics at Duke University in North Carolina. She writes:
I have been enjoying Duke so far, the fact that I spent two years at Pestalozzi made my transition to Duke life easier. Academically wise, this semester I am taking Hindi, Advanced Multivariable Calculus, International Comparative Studies and a writing class.Apart from the the academic load, I try to get involved in other non-academic activities. Last semester I volunteered as a personal tutor at a local school here in Durham. This summer, I am doing an internship with an NGO called Door Step School in Mumbai, India. I will be working with the street and slum children, helping them with English and Math. Similar to my country (Nepal) there are many street and slum children in India who havenít been able to receive education because of their social-economic staus. I strongly believe that education is the best way to improve an indivudual's life, I think an opportunity at Door Step School will give me a chance to use my skills to empower the children to access all areas of curriculum and to achieve their maximum potential.
Before I joined Pestalozzi, I barely knew what community service and volunteering was, but being at Pestalozzi for two years instilled a strong desire within me to help other people who are in a similar situation. I would like to mention that Pestalozzi has paid an important role in who I am today. Coming from a family which is not only poor but also treated as untouchable because of my caste, I would have never been able to attend a University like Duke. If I didnít get the Pestalozzi scholarship, I might have ended up washing the clothes and dishes at other peoples house like my mother does.
Pestalozzi has made a huge impact, not only on my life, but also on the lives of my family members. Thank you!
An update from Laxmi, January 2013:
As you know, I am on study abroad this semester. I am having a great time here in India and can't believe that it's already been a month, with only one month more here. I've attached some photos (below). However, I am excited to spend the other half of the semester in Beijing, China. I just wanted to let you know that I got onto the Dean's List with Distinction last semester (the students who are on the top 10 percent of their class get into this list)!
An update from Laxmi, July 2013:
After my study abroad program in China and India, I went back to Nepal to see my friends and family. It was great to see them after a year. Iím now in Kenya working with WISER (Womenís Institute of Secondary Education and Research) on the WISERBridge program. WISERBridge is an educational enrichment program that provides rigorous external benchmarking to improve and monitor student progress at primary schools in Muhuru Bay to increase the passing rate of girls in the Kenyan National Exam (KCPE). The main goal of the project is to provide foundation to the future of the girls in Muhuru Bay through education.
Just being at my first school, I have learnt a lot about the community and the culture of people. I have had great discussions about religion, about poverty, hard work, and motivation. I feel that my story of how I managed to attend one of the best universities in the world despite being born in a poor family and having gone through various obstacles has provided them motivation to never give up. One of the students wrote to me, "You have sincerely made me know, believe and trust that I can be anything I would like to be. I have realized that success is neither final nor failure fatal. What matters is attitude and hard-work with a goal in mindĒ. I think that motivating students like this to continue with their education is going to be my greatest contribution to Muhuru Bay community.
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