Our hypothesis is that there are a number of opportunities available to students and youngsters but most of them miss out on it because
- They don’t know about these opportunities
- They don’t believe they are capable enough to get through to these
- They do not know how to approach these opportunities
In June, we helped the girls in Kerala apply towards the Grace Hopper Student Scholarship (GHCI) which is awarded to about 200 girls across India to attend the GHCI Conference in Bangalore which also happens to be India’s largest women in tech conference, This year, 42 scholars out of the chosen 200 are from Kerala (21%). We have been trying to share info about the scholarship with about 1000 girls and around 200 of them applied.
We also have Felix Josemon, final year CSE student from GEC Thrissur got selected as one of the 6 scholars from India as a part of Google Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship.
Our initial engagements as a part of GHCI and Venkat Scholarship reinforced these. But few interesting outcomes have also come up along with this initial validation.
Essentially, we had been doing two things right:
- Clearly documenting these opportunities — We created wiki page to capture basic details about the opportunity and blog articles on useful resources, tips, and tricks.
- Providing guidance and support in putting in applications — We had FB live sessions by previous winners conducted so they could learn from the winners themselves.
Quite recently, we have been helping about 250 girls apply towards the Adobe Women in Tech Scholarship and about 100 of them would have finally applied is our prediction (We haven’t received the exact number yet)
One important realisation we had during these efforts is that even though we have information in place, there is no way to reliably communicate with the students.
This is why we are attempting to fix the email infrastructure and culture in our campuses at the moment. Our aim is to be able to reliably and effectively communicate with our students.
Hence, we are in the process of getting our students on email and helping them get started with using email as a mode of communication.