To begin, I would like to introduce myself as Invictus Institute’s newest blogger. My name is Jackson Beutler. I am a senior attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I am majoring in Political Science and minoring in Nonprofit Management and Civic Engagement. For the next several months, I will be managing Invictus Institute’s blog and strengthening our social media presence. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute in some small way to Invictus Institute’s mission of making the world better through personalized, mentored education, one student at a time.
I am happy to officially announce Invictus Institute’s next major stride (albeit a little late). As of December 2016, we now have a foothold in one of the eastern hemisphere’s most booming nations: India!
It began last summer when Kasey Beck (founder and president) investigated the possibility of expanding to the world’s second-most heavily populated country. Though he had no prior contacts or colleagues residing there, Kasey struck gold with Beyond Intent, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to ” [helping] under-privileged and deserving students to gain higher education.” Based in San Jose, CA, Beyond Intent and Invictus Institute formed a quick bond over mutual motivations. After learning of their success in constructing a computer lab in Gangadhar Baba orphanage (located in Guha, Maharashtra, India) Kasey smelled an opportunity.
Five months later, the first tutoring sessions with the kids of Gangadhar Baba took place. As of now, 78 total children from the orphanage are being mentored through our partnership with Beyond Intent. In addition to teaching good citizenship and reinforcing what they learn in school, the mentoring sessions will focus heavily on learning English. An Indian citizen’s earning potential explodes by an extra 500% after they become fluent in the language. This creates a poignantly valuable opportunity for these children, many of whose parents are actually still alive, but cannot support them financially.
There are a few obstacles of course, though nothing drastic. The ever-present problem of a stable Internet connection remains. The students younger than 13 tend to struggle with English more so than their older peers. One particular challenge with Gangadhar Baba is the lack of a private computer room, ensuring plenty of background noise during sessions.
Still, the Gangadhar Baba orphanage affords an invaluable opportunity for new Invictus volunteers. Most of the current volunteers have enlisted through Beyond Intent and are fluent in Hindi. As IVI plans on spreading to more and more orphanages throughout the country, more and more Hindi and Marathi speakers will be needed.