LIFT is the sum total of many small individual successes and the collective growth those cumulative successes bring to underdeveloped communities. LIFT successes are made possible by donors, volunteers, alums and, most of all, the children of LIFT.
I was brought up by my grandma. As my grandma could not take care of me, I joined LIFT. I was very interested in studying, and I am also very keen on helping in any way I can even as a young girl. I believed I had the capacity to study to be a doctor and the mind-set needed to be a doctor.
This is Anusuya. My father is a coolie worker in a spinning Mill and my Mom is physically challenged. There is no way I could think of doing much schooling leave alone medical school. Any quality schooling for me would be out of reach due to the financial hardships at home. But my dream even as a kid was to become a paediatrician.
I am Saranya. I am 22 years old and am from Ukkirankottai, Tamil Nadu, India. I completed my UG degree in Commerce in St. Xavier’s college in Palayamkottai. Now, I am doing M.Sc. Visual Communication in Loyola College, Chennai.
I am Martina. My home village is Kuthukal Valasai, Tenkasi in southern India. My mother is a working government school cook. My father passed away when I was one-year old. I have an older brother who has completed his engineering education and is now working for a company in southern India.
My name is Devika. I am from Gangaikondan, India. I am twenty-three and the oldest of three girls. My mother and father are coolie workers. My parents were planning on asking me to quit my studies due to having no financial resources for education.
My name is Rita. I am a young LIFT graduate who you have helped to transform into an independent woman. Unfortunately, my life began with a bleak outlook. With two young brothers at home and parents earning less than $2 per day, I planned to quit school and become a day laborer to help provide food for my family.
My name is Rajan and I am 18 years old and have been in the LIFT program for six years. I come from Kulavanihar Puram, Tirunelveli Dt. There are four members in my family. My dad passed away when I was in the 8th grade. My mom is paralyzed and can’t walk. She runs a little shop on the side of a road and earns a very little amount. I have a sister and a twin brother. My brother is with me at LIFT and my sister is taking care of my mother since she can’t do any work without help. I am studying through LIFT to support them.
I am Arulraj from a village called Veerakeralam Pudur in Tamil Nadu. I am 25 years old. Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my life story with you.
I am Sowmiya from a village called Nanjankulam. I’m 17 years old. I am doing Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my life story with you. More importantly, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity, through your help, to rewrite my life story
My name is Selva Shekila, my friends call me Shaki. I am from a small village called North Vandanam.
Your support of LIFT is giving me a career and a future. I know that most LIFT supporters cannot make the journey to India but I hope to share with you how important your commitment to LIFT is and how deeply grateful my family and I are for the opportunity you have provided us.
More than 25 LIFT students have completed the program through the college level, and some have master’s degree. LIFT alumni work in the fields of education, engineering, computer applications, nursing, business and for companies such as Caterpillar, Honeywell, and Tata Consulting.
Each LIFT graduate has their own, wonderful journey of success. The following stories are just two examples of how a LIFT education transforms life for an entire family.
Recent LIFT graduate, Ambika, was quickly employed as an engineer upon completion of her college studies. Ambika’s father died several years ago, and due to her education and employment she can help with her younger sister’s education and care for her mother. She has married even though her family could not afford to fund a dowery, a custom still widely practiced in India. When Amika’s first employer could not grant her request for a transfer to Chennai to be closer to her fiancé, she quickly interviewed for a new job and doubled her salary! This kind of mobility and opportunity is made possible through the education she received with LIFT. Ambika’s confidence, tenacity, and intelligence make her an inspiring role model for the young girls that follow her through LIFT.
Arther, another graduate, leads LIFT 2.0, a group of LIFT graduates who find the time and resources to give back to the program that gave so much to them. Arther entered LIFT in the 6th grade and is the first student to complete both an undergraduate degree (in mathematics) and graduate degree (in computer applications). Arther’s first job was with the Chicago based consulting company Thoughworks. When Arther was recruited by his current company Stayzilla, Thoughtworks paid him the compliment of offering an open invitation to return if and when he wished. Arther grew up in a one-room house, but has recently completed building a new, modern home for his family in his home village of Pettai. Arther has also supported his brother’s education, allowing him to complete a degree in business. Not only is Arther transforming life for his entire family, but he regularly visits LIFT to mentor students and assist with site improvements.