FFE Newsletter - December 2015                                                                                                                                    View online
FFE Gala 2015
 
As we usher in the season of Christmas, we, at the Foundation for Excellence would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our donors, guests and volunteers, for supporting us in our mission and believing in our cause - to transform the lives of academically-gifted students from financially-deprived backgrounds, through financial assistance.

The 2015 Gala hosted on October 18th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto was a resounding success.  Thanks to your generosity, FFE achieved its goal for the year 2015 – 2016.  Attended by over 350 supporters, we raised $750,000 at the Gala.

The Foundation, now in its 21st year, has funded in excess of 14,000 scholars to date, awarding over 38,000 scholarships amounting to USD 11 Million.  With 1500 patrons in the U.S. and over 1000 supporters in India, FFE is proud to be the largest scholarship-granting organization in India, helping scholars pursue their dreams of a professional education, in the fields of Engineering and Medicine.

The Ninth Annual Gala honored SanDisk Corporation’s President and C.E.O. Sanjay Mehrotra, for his global philanthropy in supporting the American Red Cross in the U.S., as well as S.O.S. Children’s Village, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, and One School at a Time, in India.

Keynote Speaker Manoj Bhargava, Founder and C.E.O. of 5-Hour Energy, captivated the audience with his innovative ideas for clean energy (and self-deprecating humor). The engaging speaker is also Co-Founder of The Hans Foundation, which has partnered with FFE to fund the education of 100 bright and underprivileged Engineering and Medical students in the state of Uttarakhand, every year.

What makes FFE an extraordinary organization is its Circle-of-Giving approach, wherein the scholars who benefit from the Program today, pledge to help at least two other students, once they gain employment and are able to do.  This self-sustaining model ensures the perpetuity of the organization.

The real prowess of privilege is in its extension to the underprivileged - we thank you for your support and contribution, which means the renewal of hope, and transformation of lives, not only of the scholars whom we all support, but also of their families and communities at large.
Manoj Bhargava, Founder, 5-Hour Energy

Message from the Board:

FFE Founder Prabhu Goel shares his vision for the upcoming year: “Today we are supporting about 3400 scholars a year.  Next year our goal is to support 4200. We are building a network of FFE scholars, alumni and donors, so that this network can be a resource to our FFE studentsIt is an overall system; we are trying to improve it every year so that we add more and more value, ultimately to the (benefit of) the Scholar.

Minoo Gupta, President, reports, “Our mentoring and soft-skills program is running at full steam. In order to sustain this growth, we are planning to step up our efforts for fundraising and high-touch donor-management here in the Bay Area, and are looking to expand our efforts beyond Silicon Valley.”

Sudha Kidao, the Managing Trustee of FFE India Trust, spoke of new initiatives, in the pipelines. The Mentoring Program aims to match a scholar with a mentor in a company.  The successful pilot in Bangalore that has yielded encouraging results will now be expanded to Pune, Mumbai, Coimbatore and Gurgaon.  In addition, Remote Mentoring through online mechanisms will soon be introduced.  We also hope to identify more deserving women scholars for FFE’s scholarship program during this Fiscal Year.

FFE Alumni: Badri Velamur Asokan

For most people, getting into an esteemed institution such as the I.I.T. would have been cause for celebration.  Not so, for Asokan.  His acceptance merely brought him immense frustration and despair, for he knew that he would never be able to afford the fees.  Being good enough for the prestigious establishment meant nothing, if he could not finance his education.  To someone whose “self-worth was not that great” the FFE scholarship came as a timely beacon of hope.  “Somebody believes in me,” said Asokan recalling his years as an FFE Scholar. Asokan finally felt validated.

He graduated from IIT Chennai in 2001.  He went on to pursue his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, from Cornell University and graduated in 2006.  Today, he works for ExxonMobil, near Houston, Texas. True to the FFE model, Asokan is now a generous donor to FFE; he supports one scholar a year and has helped nearly ten scholars to date.

FFE Scholar: Srijan Raj

An aspiring entrepreneur with a spiritual bent of mind, 19 year old Srijan is a 2nd year Electrical Engineering student from Delhi Technological University (DTU). The first year at DTU gave him ample opportunities to discover and explore his interests. Srijan’s selection in the DTU Entrepreneurship-Cell (E – Cell) provided him a platform to attend various business related workshops and meet startup founders through Investopad. In second year, he received mentoring from college seniors via E-Summit where he was further involved in social media publicity drives.

This constant exposure and interactions with people helped Srijan identify problems in college that required urgent solutions, one of them being accommodation. With limited rooms offered by the college hostel, many scholars faced problems finding affordable accommodation.

Srijan built a team and developed EazyPG.net, a campus-centric virtual helpdesk and marketplace for accommodation based requirements, acked by the on ground services of CamPMitra & PGeons where students can find socio-academic compatible roommates.

“Almost a year ago, when I was going through the tiring and frustrating process of getting admission & accommodation in DTU, little did I know that a year later I would be solving the problems of many students. I had to walk for hours in the scorching heat to get a suitable PG, but just like the others I also chose to ignore it as another struggle in the transition process of a new journey to College. The night before E-Summit, an idea struck my mind. I spoke to my seniors and after rigorous research and analysis of existing systems and their shortcomings, EazyPG.net was launched on July 15th 2015. 

Quick Links

1.   FFE Gala 2015 - INDTV USA

2.   FFE Gala 2015 Photos

3.   FFE Gala 2015 Photos - by Rahul Saagar (volunteer)

4.   Sitaarre TV Coverage

5.   Annual FFE Gala 2015 Highlights - INDTV USA

To support a scholar, please click here:  Become a Donor

 
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