Shreeya Yarlagadda, a ninth grader from Des Moines, Iowa, presented Sehgal Foundation’s November 2020 online event “US Schoolchildren for India’s Schoolchildren” and introduced her project “Shreeya’s Life Skills.” The project raises money to cover the fees for girls to attend Sehgal Foundation grassroots Digital and Life Skills Awareness program, which offers courses in civic engagement, life skills, and computer training. Shreeya was been inspired by her grandmother. “My mother told me that there were days when my grandmother would struggle to find 2 rupees so that she could take the bus to her work and earn a salary. Despite this, she provided both of her daughters (my mom and my aunt) with a good education while helping her students at the same time.”
Shreeya began “Shreeya’s Life Skills” when she was just ten years old. Since then, Shreeya has raised enough to send 350 girls from four different schools in rural India to the Digital and Life Skills Awareness program. The 4–6 month course has three training components: civic engagement, life skills, and computer proficiency, teaching everything from citizens’ rights to internet search engines.
Shreeya adds, “To know that in some parts of rural India, girls still go through the problems my grandmother faced, even after fifty years, makes me want to continue my passion for education—not only to help myself, but to take forward my grandmother’s legacy to empower more girls so that fifty years from now, a “domino effect” like my grandmother’s will be done by these girls.”