Determination and hard work take an underprivileged boy from an obscure village in eastern Uttar Pradesh to an Ivy League University in the US

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Following the CBSE results declared yesterday, I would like to share with you about Anurag Tewari, topper of school in humanities field from VidyaGyan Sitapur secured 98.2%.   He is a young boy from the small village of Sarasan (from Lakhimpur district) in eastern UP is headed to Cornell University this August and that too on 100% scholarship.  Cornell University in the US is one of the only eight Ivy league Universities in the world – considered the gold standard of college education.

Anurag’s father is a marginal farmer and his mother a home-maker, but this humble background did not deter Anurag from aiming for the moon. Always a bright child, Anurag’s life changed completely when he secured admission at the VidyaGyan Leadership Academy (from the philanthropic Shiv Nadar Foundation) – a residential co-ed school that offers free world-class education to rural, underprivileged meritorious students from Uttar Pradesh.

Anurag fondly remembers July 8th 2013 as the day he set foot in the VidyaGyan campus. During the course of the seven years at the School, he worked towards a single aim and that was to leverage the opportunity of a world-class education to improve his life. But what VidyaGyan taught him was the importance of giving back and using his education to also help improve lives of several others. Anurag couldn’t have asked for a better launch pad as everybody at VidyaGyan, including his teachers, mentors and support staff worked tirelessly with him to accomplish his mission. Anurag also found inspiration in his role model – ace cricketer MS Dhoni – who like Anurag came from a small place but achieved what no other could.

Today Anurag is the first person from his village to go to another county for higher education. While his parents initially were hesitant with their son’s decision and wanted him to study closer home – they are now invested in his bright future thanks to all the counselling from Anurag’s teachers.

Anurag will be studying Economics and Math at Cornell as part of his undergraduate program and hopes to also pursue his Masters from the US. But what this bright young man really wants to do is to eventually come back to his village and open a school there to help other children leverage the power of a good education. For he truly believes education to be a force multiplier!

We wanted to invite you to speak to Anurag and learn more about his journey and share the same with the larger world so that others can take inspiration from the same. Am also sharing a press release highlighting the results from students of VidyaGyan.