When I first met Karthik he was shy, yet motivated. He would always raise his hand to answer my questions and he would even sometimes challenge me to create discussion.
I probably would not have chosen Karthik to be my scholarship student if he had not sat down with me at lunch to tell me his story. He was said that it never mattered how intelligent or how motivated he was because his mother could not afford his education. His father had been instantly killed in the factory, and his mother was no longer able to continue to afford his education. That year was supposed to be his last.
He told me about how his father loved the game cricket. His father really wanted one of his sons to be a famous cricket player, so prior to the accident he began to save money for lessons. Just when he was finally able to afford them, he had already passed. Karthik just kept telling me how much he wanted to be able to support his mother. He can’t bear to see her struggle and she puts on such a strong face. I had never met a kid with so much heart yet so little opportunity.
After that conversation, it had become my mission to use my resources to help kids like Karthik get an education. The cost of sending a kid like Karthik to school is around $250 per year, which is $20/ month, equating to foregoing 6 lattes from Starbucks. Bottom line, it is not expensive to send a kid to school in India. This cost includes tuition, uniform, books, transportation, sports, and supplies.
Karthik was a kid who lived on the edge of being pulled out of the one thing that made him the happiest. Today, he is ranked the top of his class and applying to some of the best colleges in India. He wants to be an engineer one day and help his mother and little brother.
Because of Karthik, I have learned to never underestimate the ability for one child to lift a generation out of poverty.