Swapnika Mallipeddi.

Abhyasa Vidyalayam - Vijayawada, India

Project Description

Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient

Having experienced difficulties with English, I was determined to help other younger students in my city to build their futures by developing their reading and writing skills. In high school, I was a tutor at the Children’s Literacy Center for three years, assisting underprivileged and immigrant children in elementary and middle schools who are behind in their respective grade levels in reading and writing. I incorporated various activities, such as games and small projects, to bring more creative teaching styles. This hobby soon turned into a passion, which I was intent upon further pursuing at Bowdoin. I was a participant last year and a leader this year for an alternative spring break to the Passamaquoddy Reservation in Pleasant Point ME. During this one-week community-immersion trip, we volunteered at a local school that provides free or reduced fee for ninety-five percent of their students. There, I taught classes in geography, science, reading and writing for fifth grade students. Through small art projects, games and documentaries, I tried to make the class as interactive as I could in attempting to instill an enthusiasm for learning among the children. These experiences have allowed me to understand how to interact and assist children through the incorporation of various methods of learning, and I would like to build on these experiences to help the children in India in a positive way.

At Abhyasa Vidyalayam, I will assist children in English, math, science and history as well as will teach them new skills in more engaging learning styles. I hope to read short stories with them, give them the opportunity to write stories and poetry, work on small projects, watch educational videos and play games. In addition, I also hope to teach them basic first aid skills that I learned from my EMT course, which will primarily consist of checking for pulse, taking blood pressure, using a stethoscope, bandaging wounds and performing CPR. This will allow me to combine my passions for education and healthcare within the context of Indian society. I hope to also reflect and teach them certain important things that I have learned throughout my education here in the United States. Such include: teaching them the value of giving back to society, persevering despite obstacles, and helping them understand their own identities as those who have the privilege of attaining an education that most others from their own neighborhoods or slums may not have. India is a country with high poverty rates in which some children are still not able to attain an education and instead, are taught to find ways to earn money. When visiting India, I would see young children begging on the streets, performing labor-intensive jobs or working in houses as maids. Seeing this would always make me feel disillusioned about the education system in India that inherently favors upper class individuals. Through the efforts of schools like Abhyasa Vidyalayam, I strongly believe that there are avenues for change in which every child can have access to an influential education.

This experience connects with my passion for children’s rights in education and healthcare. As someone who is interested in education, public health and medicine, I want to apply the concepts learned from the courses at Bowdoin to real world situations in understanding some of the social institutions that prevent some individuals from accessing certain things in society. After graduating from Bowdoin, I plan to take a few gap years before graduate school and want to work with children internationally, especially with at-risk youth who face obstacles in getting an education and into the workforce. With the knowledge gained from my courses here at Bowdoin, I plan to perform a research study about the social structures of various societies and their influence on children in this generation, focusing on their rights for access to education and proper healthcare. As a whole, this experience of working in Abhyasa Vidyalayam would be a starting point for me that would introduce me to a global experience for children’s rights. Through the help of the Career Planning Funded Internship Grant, I will be able to actively pursue this opportunity that will not only allow me to contribute to the children from my experiences and skills learned in the United States but will also provide me an opportunity to gain further insight into the field of education, specifically in research and in the workforce, both of which I am considering pursuing.

Project Details

  • Date October 18, 2017
  • Tags 2017, Asia, Education, Preston, Sophomore

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