Knowledge is not something which is supposed to be merely acquired and left to rust over time. The real value of education comes out only when you actually use it to make some difference. And this is exactly what Arushi Aggarwal, a 16 year old girl from New Jersey is doing. She became an inspiration for all of us when she made headlines as the girl from New Jersey who teaches underprivileged kids from Bihar.
Education of Arushi Aggarwal
Born in Haryana, Arushi Aggarwal started her schooling in Bengaluru and then moved to New Jersey when she was 10 years old. In an interview with the Indian express, she shared with the readers her journey and how she decided to teach English to children from the villages of Bihar. She started off with the ambition to make education accessible to everyone irrespective of their gender and economic position after being introduced to the idea of educational inequality. During her experience as a member of her school’s robotics team, she realised that not many girls opt for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects owing to a lack of confidence. And that’s when she knew that this needed to be changed. So, after this encounter Arushi started her initiative named Unknown16.
“In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.”
– Deuteronomy Rabbah
What is Unknown16?
Under this initiative, she formulated programming curriculums which could be used to teach students and then shared them with various NGO’s across India. One such NGO was Lahani Club, a youth collective from Bihar which approached her with an interest in adopting her curriculum. But it was not that easy. There was one barrier that needed to be crossed and it was that of language. These children had no access to English and it reduced their scope of acquiring education. So, Ayushi took it upon herself to remove this barrier and decided to teach English to these children. But the will to teach was not the only requirement. What was also important was the availability of resources. So, with the help of Lahanti and her parent’s support she raised funds and opened computer labs in four villages – Naiadih, Kumbadih, Govindpur and Jabardah of Nawadi Panchayat, Chakai Block, Jamui, Bihar.
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After the infrastructure was established she herself started giving live classes. Now, every weekend at 5 a.m (New Jersey time) she begins her one hour long lecture in which she teaches the students English. Currently over 300 students are benefiting from her initiative and she aspires to increase this count in the future. With the success of this initiative she has proven that distance and age is not an obstacle when you really wish to make a difference.
She is a true inspiration for all of us. Keep checking Leverage Edu to know more about such awesome rock stars who are bringing actual changes to the real world!