In 2011, two of their students – Akshay Vijay and Hema Subramani – along with the art teacher Dhanaraj Keezhara, attended the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Summit 2011 at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, USA. AYV is a signature philanthropy program of Adobe Foundation implemented in India by the American India Foundation Trust with a vision to introduce young minds to the world of digital media. Post this summit, Akshay worked on an a project called “Who’s Going To Save Our Earth” which is a music video album, which carries the message of saving the earth from pollution. “The AYV summit 2011 helped me learn more about the media and how it functions across the globe. Before, I was aware of how various thoughts only of my country are expressed. The summit helped me learn how other people around the world express their ideas, beliefs, thoughts and any issue which they feel strongly about,” says Akshay.
Hema’s music video album, titled “The Sky is Mine” consisted of three songs composed by the Christel House school choir. The story is a dream where the “impossible” happens, the underlying theme being that everyone has potential and a right to dream and that the sky is the limit. “The media can reach people across the world, cities or villages in a very short time. It can also influence the thinking of the masses. I would like to use the media to help people think more scientifically and remove superstitions and fundamentalism,” says Hema.
Other opportunities these students have been lucky to get include representing the school at the Karnataka State Level Football League and Karnataka State Junior and Senior Athletic Meet. 15-year old Christopher stepped into an airplane for the first time when he was selected to be part of the Indian Junior National Cricket team and represented India against Sri Lanka. It was a dream-come-true for the 15-year-old whose father is an unskilled daily wage labourer and his mother, a housemaid. Six young students participated in a summer football camp organized by the Transguard Elite Sporting Academy (TESA), Dubai in June, 2010 too.
Christel House Foundation also saw its first batch of 66 students graduate last year. The organization is now working closely with them to ensure they have a smooth integration into a world beyond Christel House. They are helping students who show exceptional academic promise, with scholarship options. The others are guided on work options. Professionals from varied fields, including doctors, engineers, pilots and software designers, visit the school to talk about their careers and what it takes to be successful in a particular career. Career counseling by qualified professionals helps students identify their strengths and interests and guides them in their choice of a career. Student choices have ranged from working in a BPO, to doing a course on Architecture, to Engineering.
The bottom line is that Christel House functions like a family. No child is left to fend for themselves. As they say, “ We know that our program will effectively prepare our students to rise above the challenges they face. We cannot wait to see our young adults take flight.”