My name is Shifa and I am from Chhindwara, a town in central India. I am a Biotechnology Engineer by training, a Development Professional with over 3.5 years of work experience and the first generation of my family to attend University and therefore, for me, education has been of utmost importance.
And this is the reason I have initiated this campaign- to seek support from you all, to pursue my Masters at the very prestigious Columbia University!
I am a firm believer of utilizing my education to serve others, especially the rural and low-income communities, through my profession and volunteer initiatives and have done my best so far.
I am currently serving as the Manager for Women Entrepreneurship at Idobro Impact Solutions, where I design entrepreneurship programs for women from low-income and rural and communities, and Consultant at Project Udit, an e-commerce platform for India’s rural and indigenous artisans.
Before this, I was one of the 44 selected from a pool of 5000 applicants for the reputed Chief Minister Fellow with the Government of Maharashtra and one of the 75 selected from a pool of 7000 for the SBI Youth for India Fellow. Through these fellowships, I have worked towards improving sustainable menstruation practices amongst 3000 adolescent girls and women and waste management practices in villages of Gujarat and building public-private partnerships and develop data-driven solutions for government programs implementation, in the tribal belt of Palghar.
I am an Ambassador for Ecofemme, a social enterprise promoting sustainable menstruation, and was selected for Anubhav Lecture Series at Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago and Indian School of Public Policy, with a full scholarship. Prior to this, I also won a scholarship to attend Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day train journey across India, and later served as its Ambassador. Voluntarily, I serve at Ismaili Professionals Network, Aga Khan Economic & Planning Board India, developing career-oriented and skill development programs for students and professionals of the Shia Ismaili community.
My determination to continue my academic pursuits and gain policy-relevant specialized skills has secured me admission to pursue a Master in Public Administration (MPA) at Columbia University- SIPA. Public service has been at the core of all my initiatives and post SIPA, I want to continue working with rural and tribal communities with better knowledge and skill sets, to improve their "Quality of Life".
My tuition fee at Columbia University is USD 1,37,000. I wasn’t successful in securing any scholarship. With a loan of over USD 1,00,000 towards my tuition and first-semester living expenses, I currently need USD 22,000 to be able to cover my tuition fee at Columbia. Reaching out to you all is my last resort and any amount raised through this fundraiser will go towards my tuition fee at Columbia University!
Eight years ago, I could not study medicine due to financial constraints and now, I do not want finances to be a roadblock again towards my higher education. Your support will enable me to realize my dreams to impact more communities through my professional and personal endeavours. Any amount of support from your end will be super helpful.
For further details, kindly contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91 9655107204. Thank you!