From Bulandshahar to Babson on a 100% Scholarship


What you are about to read is a feel-good story that will make you tingle with optimism. It’s about a tea-seller’s daughter from a small UP town who has fulfilled her dream of studying at a renowned university in the US. A series of serendipitous events, many long years of hard work; the support of a family that allowed her to go to school; encounters with a few good people along the way; and a well-crafted application paved her route to success. This is the story of Sudeeksha Bhati.

A humble farmer and tea-seller from Bulandshahr earning just a few thousand rupees a month, Sudeeksha’s father could not afford to continue paying the fees at a private school, so she was expelled at the age of nine only to go back to the village school. Since she was a good and diligent student she was picked up by the VidyaGyan Leadership Academy, a boarding school for underprivileged rural meritorious candidates, run by the Shiv Nadar Foundation in 2011.

That was a turning point for the bright student who, given the opportunity to learn, used it to her best advantage with mentorship from the VidyaGyan team. She created a strong profile in her years there—started an initiative called Voice of Women in her village, which was essentially a campaign to get girls to go the school and to fight against sexual harassment; held many positions in school including Vice Head Girl; topped her school and Bulandshahr district in her CBSE Class 12 exams with 98%; did summer programs to gain exposure and garner experience (one of them at Lehigh University in the US); got great SAT and TOEFL scores and put together an impressive application with the help of our founder Anjali Raghbeer.

As a result of her efforts and her single-minded determination to study in the US, she was awarded a Rs 3.8 crore fully paid scholarship for her four-year undergraduate program on entrepreneurship education at Babson College in Massachusetts.

Her inspiring story is what legends are made of. Merit, hard work, self-discipline, stellar achievements, financial need and opportunity culminated in the ultimate dream for her. A well-deserved scholarship was the catalyst! It could also be the stepping stone for many of you.

To find out more about available scholarships; what helps you make the cut; what works, what doesn’t; or how to secure financial aid and education loans, stay tuned for our power-packed column next week with insider insights and tips and tricks.

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