Swat Spotlight: Aarti Rao '14 Awarded Lang Scholarship
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Aarti Rao '14 of the Swarthmore College field hockey team is one of six Swarthmore students recently awarded the Eugene M. Lang Opportunity Scholarship.
Selection criteria for Lang Opportunity Scholarships include distinguished academic and extra-curricular achievement, leadership qualities, and demonstrated commitment to civic and social responsibility. Each scholar receives a guaranteed summer internship, educational enhancement funds, and the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 to create a project that addresses a social problem. Students who successfully complete a project are also eligible for up to $5,000 each year for graduate studies, up to two years. The program was conceived and endowed by Eugene M. Lang '38.
Rao will work with The Bhoruka Charitable Trust (BCT) to expand the existing JnanaJyothi program. Located in Kalghatgi, an impoverished region in the Dharwad district in India, JnanaJyothi is a supplementary education center for the daughters of female sex workers whose purpose is to promote women's empowerment and prevent sexual exploitation through education. Currently, there is one pilot center running in the central village of Kalghatgi. Girls from the ages of 9 through 15 attend the center six evenings a week and are taught math, the Kannada language, and English. Although the BCT provides van transportation to enable the girls in three neighboring villages to attend, access to the single central program remains limited. Concerned for their safety, many mothers hesitate to send their daughters for evening classes. Rao will collaborate with the BCT to design a more holistic curriculum and establish three additional "mini JnanaJyothi centers."
On the field, Rao was one of the top players for a Garnet team that made dramatic strides during the 2011 season. The midfielder finished the season with four assists and three goals, including the overtime game-winner against NCAA-participant Eastern on September 27.
Full story by Susan Clarey of Swarthmore Communications.