Are you interested in making a difference in the life of a high performing but financial needy student? In India there are thousands of students each year that work hard and aspire to get into a top college. For many, it's not just a ticket to a decent job, for many it's their only hope of rising out of poverty. But there are so many that in spite of performing really well in their exams can not go to college because they just can't afford it or can't qualify for a loan.
Recently I found a cool initiative called Foundation for Excellence (http://www.ffe.org) that has created a program that provides scholarships to such needy students and helps them to go through college. The program invites donors, often NRIs, to adopt one of the many students they shortlist each year. The students are picked by a network of volunteers that identify such needy students and ensure that their need is genuine. The foundation has been doing this since 18 years and they have made a huge difference in the lives of over 11, 000 students. Here are some of the detailed stats. It's good to see that women students are well represented.
The best part is that the donor can engage and mentor the scholar over the 4 or 5 year period of the scholarship. They have many success stories of students that have excelled in their academics and went on to pursue fruitful professional careers which might not have happened without these donors and this program. I adopted a scholar this year for the first time and he is from my home town Chennai. I am looking forward to see how this young guy shapes his life from here on.