From the Pakri Godam village in Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur district to the prestigious Washington and Lee University in the US with 100 per cent scholarship, it has been a dream journey for Anshika Patel.
Coming from an economically underprivileged background, Anshika, a student of VidyaGyan, a Rural Leadership Academy in Uttar Pradesh, worked hard and overcame all odds to secure admission at the prestigious institution.
According to her, she will be the first in her family of seven to study in a renowned international university. Anshika's father works at a small general store and her mother is a tailor.
Her life took a 360-degree turn after joining VidyaGyan in 2015.
The school provides free world-class, quality education to meritorious, underprivileged students. Her teachers, principals and mentors motivated her and encouraged her at every step. She was exposed to so many choices for her career and chances to explore every aspect of her personality.
Anshika said that she takes inspiration from her mother who along with managing household work, teaches basic sewing skills to women in her village to help them become financially independent.
At a very small age, she understood the economic hardships as she saw them play out on a day-to-day basis in her family.
Through her mother, she has seen a mini-example of women-entrepreneurship and has realised that the financial empowerment of women not only brings change at the family level but can also pave the way to a greater transformation in society and country level.
"This is what stimulated me study economics with a special interest in entrepreneurial economics. I want to become an economist so that I can contribute by working on solutions to various financial problems existing in society," she said.
Anshika will be leaving for the US on Thursday.