Namaste! Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay here. I am so excited and honored to have been selected for the Global Citizen Year program to India. GCY is kind of a “Peace Corps” for high school graduates. GCY’s India program partners with Teach for India (TFI) (a sister organization to Teach for America) to address a crucial problem in India: education inequity.
As a GCY Fellow, I will function as a teaching assistant alongside a Teach for India teacher, and work with primary level students teaching basic elementary subjects. I will live with a host family in Pune, and hopefully become not only a family member, but also a member of the community.
I chose to participate in this program so that I could return to India and give back to the community and kids that I left behind. I was born in Bangalore, India and was adopted to the US when I was 10 years old. Until I came to the US, I had received no formal education. At the orphanage, we occasionally had short lessons in the basement, which also functioned as our sleeping area. We did simple multiplication tables, and learned the English phrases “there is a dog” and “have a good sleep.”
(If you have ever talked to my mom, I am sure you have heard this story – (it’s one of her favorites). When I first came to the US, I received many presents from our friends. I wrote thank you cards to each in return. However, I didn’t really know English, so I wrote on the cards: “Thank you so much for the gift. I really like it. Have a good sleep!” I ended every letter (and most conversations) with “have a good sleep.” Anyway, I got a little nostalgic, back to the task at hand!)
GCY’s India program would serve as a remarkable opportunity for me to help children who face challenges similar to those I experienced as a young girl. I believe that after participating in the GCY program, I will be ready for all my future endeavors. I am especially looking forward to reconnecting with my birth country and reflecting on where I am going and the person I have become today.
Come check in here if you want to learn more about my travels to India or to simply hear a good story. Stay tuned!
Gemma Kelton ’22
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” — Eleanor Roosevelt
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