All of Wings School’s Class 10 girls passed their state board exams!

This year's Class 10 girls when they started at Wings in 2009.

This year’s Class 10 girls when they started at
Wings in 2009.

That was the call I got at the crack of dawn a couple of weeks ago from Grace. “It’s truly a momentous day here in the village. Everyone is coming around to congratulate the girls. All the parents are so excited. So many were skeptical of keeping their girls at the school but now they are saying that they are so proud. These girls are the first in their families to reach this level, and with such good marks. No other school in this area had a 100% pass rate; we are the only ones. It is really incredible for such girls from such families to have reached this achievement.”

This was the day we had been anticipating, a day of reckoning for Wings. None of us were sure what would happen with this class and we were trying to be realistic about the outcomes given the disadvantages. They started at the school in Class 5 and had a lot of catching up to do. Thankfully all of their hard work has paid off and they have passed all subjects in their exams with grades ranging from 67% – 100%. A score of 60% is considered very good. The Class 10 girls shattered our expectations!

The Class 10 state board exams are vital in determining a student’s future. The Indian system is not forgiving; if a student performs poorly she will only be eligible for a vocational stream. If a student scores well on the exams she will be eligible for intermediate academic studies – the equivalent of our grades 11 and 12. The exceptional scores earned six of the girls admission to Loyola Junior College – a top area high school.

To support the girls at high school Wings administrators have started Propel, a scholarship program for Wings’ graduates. The Kiran Anjali Project is 100% on board and fundraising to support Propel. The program will help cover fees and opportunity costs as the girls continue through high school. Research supports that to keep girls in school it is necessary to eliminate the barriers that might interfere in her attending school. That is why we will help fund transportation, meals, and books. It will be a huge change for the girls to leave the safety of the Wings School. They will be attending a school with students from more privileged backgrounds. The Propel program will offer mentoring, emotional support, and life skills training to ease the transition. Propel has added a “sweat equity” requirement of volunteering at Wings which will keep the girls connected with the school that helped them succeed. If you are interested in supporting this critical program and would like to know more, please contact me.

When my husband Dave and I initially agreed to help fund the start of Wings we could only hope that the girls would stay in school and do their best. It’s so thrilling to see these girls from such challenging circumstances thrive and excel beyond our expectations. We are excited to watch the Wings girls move forward to fulfill their dreams!