Scholar aspires to a career in pharmaceuticals to help the sickSeenu studies in her room. She is working toward her bachelor’s and hopes to pursue an advance degree in the medical field.
If you asked 20-year-old Seenu of India where she sees herself in five years, she'd tell you she has a plan in place.
Now working on a bachelor’s degree in botany and zoology, she wants to complete her master’s and then pursue a degree in pharmaceuticals. She sees a career in health care as a way to help her family and others.
"My parents mostly remain sick, so I want to give them treatment and medicines," Seenu said. "I want to go in the medical field.”
Seenu comes from a small village outside Allahabad in northern India near the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers. Her village is a farming community with a high level of illiteracy. The only school available in town is a primary school that goes up to eighth grade. Those who want to continue their education must travel farther, and many families don't allow their daughters to travel so far from home.
Sushma and Rajesh, Seenu's parents, have always been supportive of their children’s education, but with little means of income it was hard to cover all the costs. Sushma is a housewife and Rajesh runs a small shop.
Seenu was sponsored in 2011 and credits being part of the Unbound program as the reason she has been able to continue her education and make plans for her future. She also has a scholarship through Unbound.
Before joining the [Unbound] program I was not able to study in a good school and was unable to buy new books. If the organization would have not supported us, then I would not be able to get these opportunities which are open to me now.
Seenu and her siblings have always had a strong inclination for educational achievement. Her older brother is working toward a law degree and her younger brother is in his third year of high school.
Seenu followed her older brother's example and started tutoring others to earn income. Helping others increased her confidence and leadership abilities. In 2015, Seenu was selected for the Unbound Scholarship Program, which has helped her afford the costs of higher education. With earnings from tutoring and funds from her sponsorship and scholarship, Seenu was able to buy a bicycle to make the trek to school much easier and safer.
Seenu rides her bike in her village in northern India. She purchased the bike with funds she saved from tutoring and Unbound support.
Scholarship program promotes service
An Unbound scholarship is a direct investment in students who want to continue their formal education. The funds can bridge a critical gap in the resources necessary to cover tuition, books, fees and transportation. Scholars develop as leaders in their families and communities. They are expected to provide community service, which also helps them develop job skills for future employment.
Seenu (center) helps sponsored child Rithika (left) write a letter to her sponsor while sponsored youth Shivani looks on.
As an Unbound scholar, Seenu completes the required service hours by helping the local staff with various tasks, including translating letters. Most of the sponsored children in the area write their letters to their sponsors in Hindi, as English is a second language for those who study it in school.
Seenu also helps out by supporting mothers group meetings when social workers are unavailable. Her mother is a leader in one of the groups.
The example of leadership and commitment to education that Seenu provides is having an effect in her community, motivating other students to pursue their educational goals and strive to make their communities and the world a better place.
“I am very much thankful to Unbound for supporting me,” Seenu said. “Because of this support, I am able to continue my studies."
How you can help
Global extreme poverty is expected to rise for the first time in more than 20 years. The World Bank estimates that by the end of 2020, the pandemic will push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty, meaning they will earn less than $1.90 a day. Access to education helps reduce global poverty, and your donation to the Unbound Scholarship Program gives aspiring students resources and support to achieve their educational goals and become leaders in their communities.