Home: Bharatpur, Chitwan, Narayani
Education: Asian University for Women, Asian University for Women
I did my schooling from Chitwan English Secondary Boarding Schooland Shanti Academy Higher School. While in school, I was selected as one of two students to represent Nepal in the Finnish Red Cross Big Pepa program, Finland. In college, I was a faculty topper and second in the district. Later, I went on to pursue my undergraduate at Asian University for Women, Bangladesh, on a full scholarship. I was a Cherie Blair Fellow and also a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. During my undergraduate, I had an opportunity to attend a summer program at Stanford University. Thus, I consider myself among the few privileged students who had a chance to have excellent educational opportunities. A few months before my graduation, I saw a post about Teach For Nepal on Facebook. I opened the page and realized it was exactly what I wanted to do. I strongly believed in the core purpose of the movement.
I applied for the fellowship and after a rigorous assessment process, I was accepted. That moment for me was a mixture of both happiness and dilemma, as I had not mentioned anything about TFN to my parents.
Whenever I mentioned that I had been accepted to TFN, I was always bombarded with questions. Many wondered why I was going to teach English to school level students after all my education and accomplishments. Only a few of them seemed to understand. At the meantime, I was working as an AUW Admission Ambassador. Theuniversity has a scholarship program for young women, so my job required me to visit many colleges in different cities. During my visits, I noticed a vast difference between private and government secondary school students. In private schools, students were excited about the opportunity. Teachers would confidently encourage their students to apply. However In government schools, teachers were not even sure if their students could meet the minimum criteria. In some cases, they were hesitant even to let them know about the opportunity.
Further, when the government school students were told that AUW is an English medium university, they were discouraged because they did not have advanced English skills. So what I was seeing were two different academic environments: these were not only shaping students’ academic abilities in different ways but also their self-perception. One group was ready to explore the world with the education they acquired, while other was not confident whether they are ready to take on the opportunity at the hand.
This experience played a fundamental role in my decision to accept the fellowship. If I can change thelife of a student, that might be like a drop in an ocean. But it is those single drops that make an ocean.