Deepa, 18, is determined to change the arc of her life.
Her family, who lives in Bangalore, India, has an annual income of about $265. But she hopes that a training program will give her the knowledge she needs to move up the economic ladder. The program is part of the Abdul Kalam Susandhi Fellowship (AKSF), which supports students who come from below the poverty line and have just completed their schooling. Students such as Deepa – who have a spark for learning but can’t enroll in a professional engineering program due to lack of funds or access to the internet – have been chosen to participate.“It’s been a really great experience for me to learn technical things with practical knowledge,” she wrote in a thank-you letter to donors. “The program is totally different from ordinary courses. It’s really helping the students who are unable to get proper education because of financial problems.” Our company helps fund scholarships for Deepa and 19 other students who are part of a one-year residential program that provides employment opportunities in the domains of very-large-scale integration, embedded systems and software engineering. Additionally, volunteers from our company teach students on the weekend.
“After Texas Instruments adopted it, we were provided with better facilities, along with technology, interesting learning tools, computers and laptops for students, and free educational tours,” he said.
Employees from our company in India are passionate about improving their communities – and helping students such as Deepa and Mustafa. Because of the volunteer efforts of dozens of TIers, the TI India Community Involvement Team was a recent finalist for the TI Founders Community Impact Award for efforts to improve the communities where we live and work. Nine other teams around the world were also recognized with this internal award.
A smile speaks a thousand words
Sreeja Chakingal, a layout design manager at our company, volunteers almost every Saturday teaching English to fourth- and fifth-graders in India. She loves seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as they learn how to read something for the first time, but remembers helping two girls who initially weren’t interested in her lessons. “I started teaching through activities instead of just teaching theory,” she said. “That kindled their interest. Now, at the end of their fifth standard, they both can read a storybook and refer to the dictionary to find the meanings of words. I love being with kids. Teaching them, clearing their doubts and helping them learn is extremely satisfying.”
Learn more about our commitment to the communities where we live and work
Sreeja has participated for more than three years in the School Adopt Program. Our team works with several non-profit organizations (NGOs) to support initiatives in education, healthcare, the environment and disaster relief. Our educational initiatives cover a range of projects – from building infrastructure to providing stable learning environments to mentoring children in need. The School Adopt Program is one of those initiatives.
In India, our company is required by the India Companies Act to file an “Annual Report on Corporate Social Responsibility Activities.” We have been active in Bangalore and its surrounding communities for many years, but this legislation provides an opportunity to refine our philanthropy strategy to align with global corporate objectives and values. Through this process, we identified and vetted nongovernmental organization partners that are helping us make a greater impact.
Building a technical pipeline
Deepa and other students in the Abdul Kalam Susandhi Fellowship program will receive six months of soft-skill training – including courses in communication, teamwork and basic computer skills – and six months of technical training, including basic math, physics, electronics and programming. After the fellowship ends, students have the opportunity to work as paid interns with well-known corporations while taking undergraduate courses. By the time they graduate, students have a job waiting.
“We liked that this program focuses on higher education, and it’s a great way for TIers to apply their own technical backgrounds and share their skills with the community,” said Premkumar Vadapalli, a software manager who oversees the AKSF program at our company.
Seminars led by TIers have covered design, programming, the Internet of Things and microcontrollers.
“Through AKSF, students are able to gain access to the semiconductor industry,” Premkumar said. “In the absence of the program, they might have gone in a completely different direction. Many students have the academic skillset, but couldn’t compete to get into professional engineering and technical programs. Now, they have an opportunity to do that.”
From toilets to field trips
At Mustafa’s school, our company provides funding and volunteer support to the NGO Youth for Seva for the School Adopt Program, which promotes holistic development of children in government schools through long-term initiatives. Our company has adopted six schools in Bangalore and 10 schools in rural areas and plans to adopt more schools.
Thanks in part to this support, the Annasandrapalya Government School has earned state and national recognition, such as the prestigious Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Award, which is given to disciplined and well-managed government schools, and the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar for excellence in water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
“Texas Instruments has helped us in many ways, including the improvement of student hygiene and health,” said Pooja Obulappa, headmaster of the Annasandrapalya school. “Educational trips and quiz competitions have helped them learn new concepts. I thank all the volunteers and Texas Instruments for making this happen.”
Hope and guidance
TIers want to give back to the communities where they live and work. “All of us were fortunate to get access to quality education,” said Mohit Chawla, an analog design manager at our company and a School Adopt Program volunteer for five years. “It is our responsibility to ensure that future generations get access to quality education, as well. Our efforts help children understand that education is invaluable. We can give them the hope and guidance required to achieve their dreams.”
“I teach English, math and computer-related topics to these children and the enthusiasm these students show keeps me inspired," said Ramesh Ramani, a senior program manager at our company and a regular volunteer. “It’s an immensely satisfying feeling to see them grow, and I hope this encourages them to pursue higher education and work toward a satisfying career.”
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