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Service Spotlight: The Gift of Learning

Recently, I had the great joy of connecting with Arya Nalavade, Shivangi Gosain, Eesha Kulkarni, and Amruta Rajeev, four high school students based in Virginia. Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, and Amruta are the founders of The Gift of Learning. What started as a small program quickly expanded to the entire country and beyond.

They recently received a registration from a high school student in Bangladesh! Their tutoring services (with over 100 tutors) have reached 170 students. I am so inspired by their work and so excited to share their story in this week’s Service Spotlight.

Liz: Let's start in true Smile Project fashion. Give me a "Happiness is."

Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, & Amruta: Happiness can be a lot of things. For some people, it can be as simple as getting up and starting a new day, knowing that today is going to be a better one than the last. It is living your life to the fullest every second. While for others, it can be earning money or being successful. For us, happiness is providing service to our community by spreading our knowledge to other students in need. We love seeing the faces of our students light up when they finally understand something. For us, happiness is putting a smile on our students’ faces.

Liz: Tell me about The Gift of Learning.

Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, & Amruta: The Gift of Learning is a student-led organization that is dedicated to enriching students, in grades 1-10, across the nation through FREE online tutoring. By making our service free, students will have a better access to education during this difficult Covid-19 pandemic. Our goal is to pass on the information we have already learned and use it to help students who need help. We provide tutoring and one-time help as well. We offer tutoring in Math, Science, Social Studies, English, Computer Science, and Art. We run on a completely volunteer basis, which makes our tutors even more dedicated to their students! Additionally, we are soon going to host live webinars by professionals, like doctors and engineers, that students and tutors can watch from the comfort of their own house!

Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?

Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, & Amruta: We have seen a lot of tutoring services that cost a lot to sign up for. We believe that education is priceless. It should be a basic right, not a privilege. It shouldn’t come with a price tag. Our goal is to provide the same quality of education, without anything in return but the smile on our students’ faces. However, the driving force behind our program is our tutors. Since we run on a complete volunteer basis, we owe everything to our tutors. This all would have just been an idea in our minds if it weren’t for them.

Liz: What does service mean to you?

Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, & Amruta: Service is a way for us to give back to our community and have a direct impact on the lives of others. Although we are currently amid a pandemic, we refuse to let that cause a halt in education. Children are our future. They are our future doctors, lawyers, police officers, and more. We believe we must lay the educational groundwork for them. Additionally, since our tutors have one on one tutoring sessions with their students, our students can form a social and emotional bond with their tutors. After their eight week sessions, our students don’t consider them simply as their teachers. They consider them their partner, mentor, and friend.

Liz: How can people get involved?

Arya, Shivangi, Eesha, & Amruta: People can get involved by registering as tutors! They can register as tutors through our website or our Linktree! For any questions, we can be contacted at spreadingthegiftoflearning@gmail.com. We can also be reached at our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Liz: Do you have a favorite quote to leave us with?

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

-Nelson Mandela

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