This academic year has come to a close. We’ve said farewell to 22 students who have completed their A-Level studies and watched another 16 depart for their summer break.
They will spend four weeks in their home countries before returning to complete their secondary education and the remarkable journeys they have begun.
Pestalozzi provides high quality educational opportunities for 16-19 year-olds who would find it difficult to achieve their potential without assistance. All of our high achieving low income students have overcome multiple barriers to gain access to their education.
This year we have encouraged our students to push boundaries and have nurtured them to grow and flourish into young leaders who want to make a big change in the world. We have seen their resilience during the tough times and most of all we have supported them as they have made their dreams become a reality. This is what ‘Pestalozzi’ is all about.
Nine of our departing alumni have achieved fully-funded scholarships, while ten from the Class of 2017 also received scholarships to universities in the UK, US and Canada, valued collectively at more than $3.1 m.
Take Junita Sirait, who grew up in military barracks in Indonesia where her father serves in the army - her journey to Pestalozzi shows how we help inspire academically-able and determined young people make a difference in the world.
Junita will be heading to Wellesley College in September
Initially there was hesitation from Junita’s family, as they were uncertain about what opportunities lay beyond the two years here in Sedlescombe. Now Junita has achieved a fully-funded scholarship to Wellesley College, one of the most respected women’s colleges in the US.
Aamir Ansari, who during his summer break last year saved people in his village with a makeshift boat during the devastating floods in Nepal, will be going to the London School of Economics in September.
After graduating from Pestalozzi, Aamir will continue his studies at the London School of Economics
Sameer Rokade moves on to higher education at the University of Westminster where he has received the Vice Chancellor Scholarship. This is the university’s most prestigious scholarship and is aimed at fully funding a student from a developing country to study a full-time Undergraduate degree at the University. It’s just another example of how Pestalozzi lays foundations for future opportunities.
Other students who will be taking advantage of the higher education establishments across the world to help make a difference in the future are: Tenzin Choden (Tibet) who will be heading to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vella Abur (Uganda) who is going to Montreal to study at McGill University, Samikshya Dhami (Nepal) will be going to Smith College while Mario Manalu (Indonesia) and Aayush Aryal (Nepal) will be going to Grinnell College and Connecticut College respectively. Finally, Geofrey Njovu will be returning to the UK to study at the University of Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, Ruramai Chivasa and Nidup Dorji are taking a different route in their quest to make a difference in the world as they will continue the Pestalozzi ethos in giving back to their communities through two wonderful projects.
For Ruramai our International Women’s Day event in March inspired her to set-up a project which aims to make 1,000 reusable sanitary pads to help disadvantaged girls in Zimbabwe continue to attend school. Since setting up a digital fundraising appeal a month ago Ruramai has beaten her original target of £1,500 - Click here to help, every extra pound raised helps more girls.
Both students will be making a difference back home through their respective projects
For Nidup Dorji, building a much-needed toilet block for monks living in a remote Buddhist monastery in his home country of Bhutan is his way of giving back. Having raised £500 during his last year at Pestalozzi, he and his father will begin work on the toilets this summer.
Our students are selected on the basis of their potential to impact the lives of others and they leave with the skills and motivation to make a difference.
Pestalozzi year in review
Pestalozzi has always been about more than just ‘classroom learning’. In the environment of Pestalozzi Village, we encourage our students to make lasting friendships and to also challenge themselves by trying new experiences outside their comfort zones. A wide range of events this year have challenged our students to gain skills and attitudes, which will stand them in good stead for the future.
In March some of our students shared personal stories at our International Women’s Day event. Prabidhik KC, a first year student from Nepal, shared his story about the trafficking of girls across the border into India and the work of charities seeking to rescue girls at risk. While Ruramai urged the audience to challenge stereotypes and to support those who spoke out on sexual abuse.
Martin Namukombo and Blessing Kondo pictured at our IWD event in March
London International Model United Nations (LIMUN) has always been an important event for our first year students. Held at Imperial College London in February our students had the opportunity to interact with university-level students researching and debating global issues.
Student Mingyur Paldon pictured at LIMUN in February
Sporting achievements are also celebrated at Pestalozzi and on a freezing day in March more than 20 of our students took part in the Hastings Half Marathon. 23 of our students completed the 13.1 mile course in challenging conditions. Nidup was our fastest runner finishing the race in 1:32:44.
23 of our students took part in the 2018 Hastings Half Marathon
Many events have given our students opportunities to excel in unfamiliar surroundings, whether that be challenging themselves in a sporting context or having the courage to address a crowded room at LIMUN. Above all, we have helped them by giving them the opportunities to develop the self-confidence which empowers them to go on to achieve greater things.
In August, we will be welcoming our students back and the next academic year promises to be equally wonderful and exciting.
Photo credits – Martin Webb (WebphotoUK), Joe Weber, Mags Alexander and Nancy Anderson
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