Challenging the Heart
The stories of students who dream of a career in engineering and medicine have flooded the media so much that they almost seem banal to discuss. We take it for granted that any student who scores well wants to pursue either of these streams or will be forced into it; with a handful of exceptions. But sometimes we come across spiels of passion which inspire irrespective of how mainstream the pursuit.
This is the story of Divyashree, a student of My School who enrolled in the Udhyam Shiksha program of Udhyam Learning Foundation in the year 2017. She had heard about it from her peers and was initially of the opinion that it was about encouraging entrepreneurial skills and building an innovative mindset. She had already set her mind on pursuing a career in Medicine and doubted the practical application of this program in her stream. However she wanted to make an informed decision and her curiosity drove her into signing up for it.
As an extrovert who participated in many extra and co-curricular activities at school, Divya was tailor made for the Shiksha crowd. She was highly enthusiastic in all her activities and took a great deal of interest in solving them. Activities like building a pencil bridge and marshmallow tower helped her and her group focus on ideation, team building and coordination.
She was inspired by the documentaries and motivational speeches shown to get during the course. The stories of hard work and determination leading to bountiful harvests of success kindled her young mind and made her search for a similar path to realize her own goals.
As part of the program her group took up the venture of selling home made drinks like Lassi, buttermilk and lemonade. The summer season and it’s imminent problems of dehydration made them choose this plan after a thorough research based on personal and community opinion. They would prepare the drinks at their respective homes, pack and seal it in disposable paper cups and diligently await customers at various public locations like bus stations and schools. Along with selling these drinks, they collected feedbacks from the customers regarding various indicators of customer satisfaction like taste, affordability and reliability. The responses they received were mixed but a majority of the customers were encouraging to our little businesswomen. Even in the face of rejection and demotivation Divya and her friends kept their heads high and continued their work with utmost conviction. They had learnt to face criticism and even encourage it to a healthy extent. At the end of their program they had reaped a decent profit and collected significant data on public opinion regarding their exercise.
Divya went on to pursue science in her PUC with a combination of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology. She gave her second year examinations in March 2019 and awaits her results. She wants to pursue a career in surgery and become a pediatric cardiac surgeon. Her inspiration- a cousin who’s doing novel work in the said field at an eminent institution in Bengaluru. Her motivation- The inspiring incubators of her aspirations including her parents, community and the good ol' people at Udhyam learning foundation. The facilitators of the program have kept in touch with her over the past two years through social media and guided her in these crucial years to the best of their capacity. She claims that this support system has boosted her confidence to a very high extent. She feels that the concepts of feedback, quality assessment and constant updating of skills relevant to current trends will help her throughout her career and thanked Udhyam for introducing her to these principles.