LIFT creates positive change in children’s lives and their communities through a residential, holistic program.
LIFT serves, on average, 70 students annually (from primary grades through graduate school) who are selected based on need and potential. Most come from families living deeply below the poverty line; some are orphans.
LIFT primary and high school students attend local, high-achieving schools and reside at the boys or girls dormitory. Transportation between school and the dormitory, nutrition-rich meals, and structured study hours enable the students to focus on their studies in a supportive environment.
Most LIFT college students also reside at the LIFT hostels where their living expenses, tuition, and books are provided by LIFT.
LIFT teaches that each person is a blessing and has gifts to offer the world. With this as the educational foundation, LIFT students learn to see that they are surrounded by gifts and blessings and how to become gifts and blessings to others.
The LIFT students in India participated in an arts workshop facilitated by Giuseppe Siniscalchi, a professional artist and attorney in Milan, Italy. He is the founder of Froneversismo focusing on art, philosophy, and movement. He traveled to Tamil, Nadu to share his talents and to bring out those of LIFT students. Several masterpieces of LIFT students will be offered in a silent auction at the 2023 LIFT USA Benefit at Catalyst Ranch in the West Loop area of Chicago on September 30 starting at 6:30pm.
In addition to their school studies, each LIFT student participates in leadership development activities. In camps and seminars, students receive training in key leadership skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and conflict resolution.
As students progress, they mentor younger students. Ongoing mentorship opportunities help older students practice leadership skills while helping younger students achieve high levels of success in their own studies. Older students are evaluated on their contribution to the success of the students that they mentor.
LIFT is a student-driven program and the Student Council works with the staff to keep the facilities running smoothly, assisting with everything from planning meals to organizing extracurricular activities. The Council ensures that LIFT is a happy, healthy, joyful place for all students.
Invitation into the LIFT leadership development program changes lives. Children, who worked instead of attending school and made due with less than three meals a day, experience profound life changes when they enter the LIFT residential learning community.
Many report changes in status for the entire family and village due to their participation in LIFT. Early graduates give back to their own villages and support others less fortunate than themselves.
Children Helping Children
LIFT students currently support a community for children with HIVAids. Sharing time, talent and treasure, they visit and play with children that are often shunned by others. LIFT students raise money from their limited means to donate to the orphanage.
Children Helping Villages
Tapping into the cultural wisdom of South India, LIFT honors and carries on the tradition of local folk arts to foster leadership skills and opportunities. LIFT students raise awareness of important local social issues through story, dance, and drama. Last year they presented 21 cultural programs to over 13,000 people. These performances not only provide wonderful entertainment, but also teach local communities ways to address environmental, public health, and human rights issues.
The LIFT summer camp is made up of two sessions which are specially crafted programs designed for children and teenagers during their summer holidays. Current and potential new students attend the camp. Potential new students have the LIFT experience to see if they are a fit for the program.
During the first session, the children are brought together to have some fun while learning lifelong lessons. They are taught leadership traits through dance, theatre, art and craft works, painting, and speaking English. Students’ talents are identified. Through these exercises, the students acquire self-confidence and are trained in team building, social skills, communication, time management and the experience of taking responsibility.
The second session focuses on therapy sessions run by a professional. These therapies—anger, grief, anger, and fear—help in releasing the negative impact of past events on the students. This builds confidence leading to successful outcomes.