Atma is excited to introduce Avanti Fellows: one of our newest Atma Partners.
Avanti Fellows is unique to Atma because they focus on supporting students in accessing higher educational opportunities. Avanti uses a fellowship system to help students from low-income homes in gaining the access and opportunity to study at India’s best undergraduate institutes.
Avanti Fellows receive free coaching for the IIT JEE (IIT Joint Entrance Examination) through Avanti’s coaching partners in 7 different cities. Each student is paired with a current IIT student and Avanti volunteer. Avanti volunteers act to support and mentor Avanti Fellows over a two year period through face-to-face meetings, doubt solving sessions and counselling.
To select their Fellows, Avanti engages over 150 student volunteers in 7 cities across India who work together to find, train and mentor bright students. This training and mentorship process allows some of India’s brightest disadvantaged students to clear competitive entrance exams and succeed during their time in college.
In 2011, over 3,000 students from over 400 schools across India took Avanti’s selection test. Of these students, 115 were selected as Avanti Fellows after a rigorous process that included one-on-one interviews with the students and their families.
Atma is excited about partnering with an NGO that focuses on higher education and works on the belief that every student should have the opportunity to access high quality undergraduate education, regardless of his or her financial background.
Current Partnership focus
In our first year of partnership, Atma and Avanti will look at researching and instating a fundraising model, which will lead to sustainable funding so that Avanti can create realistic growth plans.
Tools for marketing and communications will increase brand recognition and trust in Avanti’s programs throughout the wider IIT community. Atma has been working with Avanti to develop concrete messaging guidelines that will be used throughout Avanti communications, including their websites, upcoming brochures and other social media channels.
In order to identify the brightest students from low-income backgrounds, Avanti is aiming to expand their selection process to include more schools and more students taking their selection test. Atma volunteers will support this expansion by researching viable channels and potential partnerships with institutions, organisations and networks through which a larger pool of students can be reached. Atma and Avanti are also looking at how better documentation of Avanti Chapter and mentorship activities can be achieved, allowing current chapters to function more efficiently and helping to replicate chapters and programs in new locations. A mentorship manual and a chapter manual will be created to support each chapter and each Avanti Mentor in working consistently, and to their best capacity.
Atma is honoured to be working in partnership with Avanti Fellows: we are looking forward to being a part of their growth over the next three years.