As many of you know, in 2008 I was lucky enough to be able to start a small after-school learning center in Ludhiana, to provide free supplementary education to a group of 20 students I had been tutoring before then and had become very close to. Their passion for learning outside of the classroom, both when I would visit India over my summer breaks and beyond, inspired me to create a space where they could take this creativity every day of the year, where it would be welcomed and nurtured.
Since then, Gyaan Ghar has been thriving, supported by two wonderful full-time teachers, bolstered by the New Lajpat Nagar community, and tirelessly overseen by my grandmother, Amrit Kaur. We have 65 students enrolled, a handful of whom are still with us from that first batch that I used to tutor in 2008! All in all, classes in art, music, theater, public speaking, computers, and environmental awareness are running smoothly and students remain enthusiastic and eager to learn. Working with students and watching the school grow remain some of the most exciting and fulfilling things I do with my time, and the future of the school is very close to my heart.
Currently, I am working on raising funds for the 2015-2016 academic year. For years, funding came directly from the students and faculty at Flint Hill School, my high school in Oakton, Virginia -- but after 7 years of running Gyaan Ghar on money raised from "Husky Dress Days," it's time to look for new supporters in our community. We recently launched a GoFundMe campaign for $3,000 -- about the amount it takes to pay for school supplies and salaries for our part-time teachers for a year. Every dollar counts, and we have faith that we can raise the money in time for classes in September!
Please join me in getting the word out about our fundraiser, and click here to visit our page.