With the end of March came the end of one class and the start of the next across India. For us at BSS, this meant that seven of our students are about to begin the twelfth grade! We can hardly believe that our seventh graders have grown up so fast. As they tell Rajan, they could never have accomplished so much without the support and hard work of BSS’s teachers and supporters. Instead, like their parents, they would be married or soon-to-be-married, and career options would include labouring in the fields for less than $2 a day, pedalling a cycle rickshaw, or doing housework.
Now their world has expanded. In the Indian school system, students specialize in their high school years. The students in 12th grade have selected “streams” of study, which include Arts (History, Social Sciences, Music); Science (Physics, Chemistry, Math, Biology); and Commerce (Management, Accounting, Business Studies). Three of the 12th graders have chosen Arts, three are in Science, and one is studying Commerce. The Arts stream includes Pankaj, Shiv, and Balwant. Balwant has decided to use his education to pursue a career in hotel management. When school is out, he spends time in the Sarnath Cafe with Sukhdev, who has taken him under his wing, to learn about working in and managing a restaurant.
Vicky, in the Science stream, has chosen to specialize in Biology with the goal of becoming a doctor. With his remarkable combination of kindness, determination, and brains, Vicky has a good shot at achieving this—quite an unbelievable but well deserved prospect, since he went against his parents, who wanted him to work for money, in continuing his education. Vicky would walk 3 miles with his two yonger siblings to BSS every day when he was younger. Satwant and Amit are focusing on math to prepare themselves for a degree in engineering. Finally, Brajesh is the lone wolf preparing himself for a career in Business, a popular choice amongst India’s youngest generation.
The thought of college next year is both exhilarating and daunting! In the second part of the upcoming school year (2014), all of the 12th-grade students will take board exams to determine where they will be qualified to go to college. We will be doing our homework to locate scholarships for these highly deserving and unbelievably transformed young people. Your words of encouragement and support will bring them great confidence!
Number of Middle School Students by Class (2012-13)
- (5th grade) – 19 (of these 16 will attend)
- 6th- 22
- 7th- 12
- 8th- 13
- 9th- 10
- 10th- 5
- 11th- 7
CLASS 12 (2013-14) Streams
- Arts- Pankaj, Shiv, Balwant
- Science- Satwant, Amit, Vicky
- Commerce- Brajesh
CLASS 11 (2013-14)
- Arts- Anu, Mamta, Vikas (police)
- Maths- Rinki, Dharamchand
How much will a student need to be sponsored for to enable them to attend college next year?
Hi John! Not sure of this yet, but certainly a critical question to take up over the next 6 months. The government seems to have some scholarships, but we will need to figure out how far these will go and what the remaining costs will be. In addition to these, we will also have over 50 students to support in middle school.
Chozom, thank you for this news, truly miraculous news from BSS. To think of Vicky not just having the dream of becoming a doctor but is, truly on the pathway toward that goal, is nothing short of stunning news. Vicky and the other boys on final rung before the college are the vanguards of the future trajectory of many BSS students. I wish we could see girls’ names on this list. But soon we’ll see girls on the college track list as well. Karen Kotoske, Executive Director, Amistad International.
This is just the most significant news ever! Rajan, we see how you and your family’s love, devotion and commitment has transformed and saved lives, as well as provided opportunities for individual dreams to come true. Wonderful!! You inspire me.