Youth from the poorest households make Pune proud
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Youth from the poorest households make Pune proud

The pandemic restricted movement, flow of information and access to iTeach's support.

Pune: iTeach Schools Alumni, students who come from Pune's poorest households, have created history in the communities they come from. More than 90 per cent alumni from the latest Batch to enter degree colleges have secured admission in choicest colleges. In order to do so, they overcame all possible constraints. The pandemic restricted movement, flow of information and access to iTeach's support. Several parents were unable to afford college fees as they lost their jobs during the lockdown.

Despite this, 20 students have cracked admissions with 100 per cent scholarships to top universities across India which include Ashoka University, Azim Premji University, KREA University, Shiv Nadar University, FLAME University and Indian School of Design and Innovation. While IITs are considered a benchmark, these institutions are building a generation of future leaders through their multidisciplinary approach, choicest courses and students learning under best professors. Our students are pursuing a diverse set of courses - Mass Media, History & Theatre, Design, Communication Studies, Computer Science and even Dance! If not across the country, other students are in top Pune colleges like Fergusson College, Wadia College, Apte College, Symbiosis College and SP College.

Tanvi Metre, Manager - Career to College Program, said, "Since 2015, our non-profit has been empowering the most under resourced youth to create a destiny of their choice - all our students hail from families with annual incomes less than 1.5L. Nationally only 26 per cent students join higher education institutes. At iTeach, we ensure that this number for our alumni is 100 per cent. We work with our students to make sure they finish college, are employment ready and further get placed in a sustainable job! We are incredibly proud of the results and look forward to replicating these year after year - thereby making Pune a far more equitable city - and truly the education capital of the East!."

The Career to College Program Team laid out an ambitious plan to achieve these impressive results. Every single alumni received 3Cs (Course, College and Career) counseling support aligned to their interests and strengths. Based on-ground research and inputs from the senior batch, the team has developed an automated College Mapping Tool which allows students to apply to a course and a college (in Pune) aligned to their interest - by analysing the quality of teaching, co-curricular activities available, fees and infrastructure at each college. 15 alumni from the Leadership Council supported peers through admission and scholarship processes. 30 per cent of our alumni were at a very high risk of dropping out because of reasons like pressure to get married, inability to pay the fees, etc. The team ensured one to one stakeholder counseling and coaching to overcome all barriers. Consequently, 105 at-financial-risk alumni have secured admissions.

Prajakta Jagtap, a student alumna, belongs to a family of five members and her father runs a small fabrication business in Hadapsar. She is currently pursuing B.Sc. Mathematics at KREA University, Chennai and cannot stop gushing about her new college and course. She said, "One of my favourite things from my college is the diversity. I get to know and learn more from the diverse backgrounds of the students. In classes I have projects and practical activities as a part of the academics that makes me and everyone else completely engaged in their tasks. Also the strength of each class is not more than 25 which is a great advantage. We stay focused under the professor's invigilation and get a better understanding of concepts."

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