In 2010 struck by the scale of wasted and lost intellectual and social potential in the villages around Auroville Tamil Nadu, South India, Reach for the Stars Stephanie Bussmann began, from her own and her family and friends’ resources in the beginning, to fund university/college education for young people from those locations.
The aims of Reach for the Stars are:
- To break the cycle of poverty and social deprivation and tap the tremendous promise and potential of young people is a principal aim
- To increase their chances of growing up to be citizens with the motivation, self-confidence and skills necessary to be strong, positive contributors to their communities
- To break the energy-sapping demoralizing cycle of poverty and deprivation. We believe that the most effective solution to a lot of the problems and ills that blight lives is a good education that includes the development of positiive social values.
We treat young men and women equally, while maintaining our awareness that in some communities young women often have to contend with cultural obstacles to educational aspirations and attainment. Certain social assumptions about their role can be seen to work against women. The expectation often is that a young woman will take a job, often with little training or prospects and badly paid, to support their families until they are married off, at a very young age. It is a sad fact, that we hope to change, that many girls complete 8th Standard but few complete 12th. Higher education for young women is often not valued in their communities and sometimes actively opposed. An educated woman, it may be thought, is less likely to be an unquestioningly obedient and subservient spouse.
We support our students as they struggle to develop and improve their abilities and prospects, often in difficult circumstances. Such motivated individuals have the potential and stamina to transform their lives and inspire others and we feel it is absolutely the right thing to help them at a critical period for them.
We put a lot of effort into identifying deserving young people to help. With your generous contributions, great and small, we see them through university/college. As they fulfill and expand their educational potential they will find their own individual ways to become highly skilled, productive and valuable members of their communities.