BEACON: Avasara Academy
BEACON is a series that profiles, highlights and celebrates the work done by organisations and individuals for their initiatives in education and skills. We welcome referrals, but we tend to profile those groups whose work we understand and know well. There is no consideration of any kind for the BEACON series and the decision on whom and how to profile an initiative is entirely that of The Hearth Education Advisors.
Avasara Academy is a small residential school in Pune, established with the aim of ‘Developing the Leadership Potential of India’s Brightest Young Women’. Outstanding girl students are selected on merit to attend Avasara. At the school, they will engage in a specialized curriculum designed to couple academic excellence with Leadership, Entrepreneurship and India Studies. At Avasara, the learning experience includes faculty advisers, mentors, independent study opportunities, small class sizes, a diverse group of talented students, and a curriculum of extraordinary depth. At its peak, the school will have 250 girls on its rolls.
We at The Hearth Education Advisors have been impressed by Avasara at two levels: firstly, at the vision that has been articulated and taken to the level of daily operational planning; and secondly, with the way the team has delivered the vision in its first few years. Commencing operations in temporary facilities in 2015, before moving to a wonderful permanent campus the following year, Avasara is a school to watch out for.
Avasara is building a movement around excellence in girls’ education and leadership in India. It accelerates academic and leadership outcomes for adolescent girls through three activities: Avasara Academy, the residential school for talented girls; the Avasara Young Talent programme, a scholarship programme that keeps girls at risk of dropout in school; and the Avasara Leadership Fellowship programme, an intensive after-school programme for motivated girls from low-income backgrounds. Avasara has been successfully running scholarship and after-school interventions in Mumbai for a few years. Avasara graduates will form a network of leaders and entrepreneurs who will collaborate to drive positive change across the country.
Avasara Academy is the vision of a group of professionals from different fields and academics, supported by an involved advisory board. Avasara was the brainchild of its Founder, Roopa Purushothaman (also an MD at Everstone Capital) and the school’s Director, Joseph Cubas (formerly of the American School of Mumbai).