Speak For The Future
Empowering Underprivileged Children Across the World
Speak For The Future at a Glance
My name is Shravya Jasti and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Miami. I started Speak for the Future in 2015 as a junior in high school. As a part of the CGI U 2018 Commitments Challenge this year, Speak for the Future is empowered to raise the maximum possible funds for girls across southern India.
Since I was young, I have experienced stage fright. By deliberately placing myself in situations where I am forced to speak to large crowds, I learned that my fear cannot control me. I developed a curriculum and taught public-speaking and creative writing to over 250 underprivileged students in Adavinekkalam, India to help them overcome their fear. After seeing two female students pulled out of the school due to the cost, I created an ongoing scholarship fund to promote girls’ education in the village area, raising over $2,600 to allow 17 female students to attend school without financial burden and build a library at the school. As Speak for the Future, we want to continue to spread our mission. I am targeting middle and high school students, specifically the girls, in the rural schools.
The time that I spent as a part of the Chukkapalli High School community has given me many unforgettable memories. It has given me a new perspective on what it truly means to learn. Education should be a basic human right, but often incorrectly treated as a privilege I nurtured my students’ passions and unleashed them for the world to hear. As a teacher, I gave them my hardwork as I witnessed their infectious enthusiasm for learning. My female students, especially, went from writing and hiding their ideas in their crinkled notebooks to powerfully voicing their opinions on community issues in front of their peers and teachers. One of my students, Anitha, was paralyzed from the waist-down when she was the victim of a drunk driving accident. After five painful surgeries, she is finally is able to walk again, but not without difficulty. As I listened to her speak in the finals about drunk driving, I saw her healing mentally as she was finally confident to voice her opinion.
Through all the joy, I witnessed some very heartbreaking moments. I saw the devastation that racks the households of these children. Many come from families where their fathers are addicts or wife-beaters. Many are malnourished to the point that I saw only skin and bones. I distinctly remember one of my students, Rahul, sitting across from me and eating mango pickle, a spicy Indian item containing few nutrients. After watching him wince as he swallowed the pickle, I gave him half of my shrimp curry and an Indian soup called rasam. As his face lit up like a 100-W lightbulb, I realized that a single act of kindness impacts a person's life.
As simple as it sounds, my students just want to give and to receive love, happiness, and knowledge unconditionally. True and untainted love. They want to share knowledge and love with others, gaining new perspectives as they experience the world. They pour their hearts into any work they complete and refuse to concede. They fight the odds, disproving every preconceived notion you may have about them. Whether they are female or male, they fight every day for the right to learn, to explore, and to improve the world around them.
It is a privilege to help them fight.
We want to empower underprivileged children around the world, starting in India, through the arts of public speaking and writing. Teaching students a structured way to voice their opinions, instills self-confidence. Using this strengthened self-confidence, they will be able to express and lead ideas that will better their communities.
Speak For The Future is in the business of transforming and shaping lives. The work we do at our non-profit organization is aimed at providing a holistic approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges.
This campaign is part of the 2018 Clinton Global Initiative University Commitments Challenge.
Transform the Learning Environment
We strive to improve reading, public speaking, and literacy skills.
Your donation has the possibility to transform the life of a child attending Chukkapalli High School. The money from your donation will be used to purchase books, computers, projectors, projector screens, and other essential items needed to produce successful and passionate students and to provide the best learning environment for the students. The use of technology and literature promotes literacy among the students and improves their reading skills. In partnership with the Girl Up chapter at the University of Miami, we are conducting weekly Skype calls with our students to teach important techniques in public speaking and creative writing. The weekly session will culminate in a 3 week trip to Chukkapalli High School, where high school students will be taught in person and to greater depth.
Combat & Prevent Child Marriages
$120 is enough to fund the full tuition scholarship for a girl to go to school for one year.
One of the most prevalent issues in these villages is child marriages. In rural areas such as the one that this high school is located in, girls are often taken out of school around 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. They are sent off to be married at such a young age because the families often have no other choice. They say that they can no longer afford to send their daughters to school and do not believe it is essential for girls to get a high education. This should not be the case! Every girl should be afforded the same opportunity to education as every boy. A scholarship will be created to fund the full tuition of the female student at the school with the highest academic ranking and to bring an end to child marriages. As more money is donated, we would like to create more scholarships that help more girls attend school past their primary education. All it takes is approximately $120 to send one girl to school for a year. We also want to encourage students to improve their writing and speaking skills by hosting contests that award scholarships. The funds will be directly transferred to Chukkapalli High School for immediate action and implementation of the scholarships.