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Volunteer blog: Helen Leale-Green meets Alumni in the USA

1 February 2013

Helen Leale-Green volunteers at Pestalozzi, where she teaches SATs, helps the students with university applications and works in the Opportunities Programme. Helen has just become a Pestalozzi Trustee. Just before Christmas 2012, she boarded a plane to the USA with two of her sons. Her sons were on a mission to see a little of America (including an American football match), get a flavour of the universities there and spend some of the money they had saved up. Helen was on a mission to meet up with as many Pestalozzi Alumni as she could in one week!

Shambu, Ishwar, Helen and UddhavOur first stop was Boston, where I was met by Shambhu (graduated from Pestalozzi in 2010), Uddhav (2011) and Ishwar (2012). They proudly showed me around MIT, their university, taking me to the some of its iconic buildings (one looks like it is falling down!) and along the renowned Infinity Corridor.

Shambhu clearly feels immensely honoured to be a student at MIT. During this semester, he is in Spain studying Spanish as part of his degree. Uddhav has decided to major in Maths and minor in Economics. He has recently won the Martin Luther King Jr Leadership award (read more about his exciting project). Ishwar has only just started at MIT but is settling in well and is keen to take advantage of the experience that MIT will give him.

We then went to New York where we met up with Laxmi (2011) who stopped off to see us on her way to visit some friends. She is studying at Duke University and is on a global semester abroad with a number of other Duke students – starting in India then moving to China. They are studying the effects of poverty in the developing world.

Krishna, Helen and BimalaNext on our whistle-stop tour was Washington, where we met up with Bimala (2011) and Krishna (2012) who are studying at Georgetown. Bimala spent last summer in China and Krishna is currently investigating her options for this summer. They have found Georgetown challenging and have rediscovered their passion for learning. Their results are excellent. They had just finished their exams, but were still keen to show us around. We were given a tour of the beautiful university and a personal guided tour of the town (where we had a delicious Spanish meal so that Bimala could practice her Spanish) and Washington DC itself.

Finally we headed back to New York, where Rinzin (2012) and Sonam (2012) met me for breakfast one morning. Rinzin is currently living New York before heading off to university in September and Sonam is studying at Bucknell. She is the first of our Alumni to study there and says she is having the most amazing time. She is really looking forward to Chanda (a current Pestalozzi student) joining her in September.

I had a wonderful time meeting up with so many of our Alumni and talking about their favourite Pestalozzi moments. I am sure they will all go on to have incredible lives and I feel honoured to have had my life touched by them.

Could you volunteer at Pestalozzi? Find out more!


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