Monday Dec. 30, I gave a presentation to an audience of about 60 at Nepal Adarsha Secondary School, a public school in Kathmandu. Most of them were grades 7-10 students.
Nepali society placed a low value on my life. Nepali society did not expect me to amount to much; they didn’t expect me to get far in life. That, however, had fueled me! I had a burning desire to prove our society wrong — and did.
My life’s journey took me from birth into a poor Bhote (low caste ethnic-Tibetan) family with next to educational history to the cosmopolitan Nepali that I am today. Along the way, I studied, and worked and traveled abroad, and evolved into a person that I had never even imagined I could be or would be! I consider myself to be a human being first, and then a Nepali, and an ethnic-Tibetan etc., for example!
Apart from sharing the details of that journey, I also shared with them all the important life lessons I have learned along the way — about the world, about the people of this world, and about life. The idea being to inspire some of those children to dream BIG and to reach for more or bigger than that which our society tells them they can do or can be.
Having given such talks to students in the past, I have reproduced many of them. Here though, I am reproducing only the content of the PowerPoint slides accompanying the presentation. (Click on an image to browse through them.)
Earlier in the presentation I had promised to talk more about UWC scholarships. So, after that video I talked to them about just that. I had told them how my UWC experience had made a huge impact on me. I revisited the UWCAd slide and went on to describe how following presentations I made to students just like them, some had taken advantage of the opportunity.
The first time I went and spoke to students was in the Fall of 2000 at Rato Bangala School. One applied and got the scholarship to UWC-USA. In 2014, following my presentation to students at Little Angels School, a number of students applied for the scholarships. One, Anshika, won a full scholarship to the UWC in Armenia. The Summer of 2016, back in Kathmandu for the Summer after her first year at the UWC, she joined me (see image below) at one such outing of mine. I had gone to speak to students at Young Hearts Boarding School, her old secondary school.
Another story I shared was that of Sanam Tamang. My presentation at his school also inspired him to apply AND got a scholarship to the UWC in Thailand.
I celebrated his scholarship offer on Twitter, something I shared with them as well.
Sanam is currently in the US pursuing his undergraduate studies following two years at the UWC in Thailand. I shared with them the fact that within just some months of first hearing about UWC scholarships from me, his life had taken a completely different trajectory! And that had been just a little over three years ago!
I shared those stories to try to inspire them to believe that their lives could also change as dramatically and amazingly.
At the end of the presentation, I had them provide testimonials. One of the questions asked them to rate the talk. Here’s the result.
What’s interesting about the ratings is that the single “Satisfactory” rating came from a teacher. Her gripe had been my not making the presentation entirely or mostly in Nepali!
Incidentally, not all of those in the audience filled out the testimonial, hence the total number of respondents number less than 60.
What do you think?