Scholarship for Higher Education in STEM
"I owe my success to the Cognizant Foundation-FFE Scholarship Programme."
The story of Bodulla Sahithi, who hails from a small village of Kothapalli in Telangana, is nothing short of extraordinary. Her father is an auto driver and the sole breadwinner in her family. Her mother is a housewife who, due to familial circumstances, had to drop out of school even though she really wanted to finish her schooling, and maybe even go to college.
Her dad’s meagre income was barely enough for their family. But both of Sahithi’s parents understood the value of having a good education and always motivated her to do better. She too lived up to their expectations by performing well in school.
When Sahithi expressed her desire to attempt the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), her father agreed wholeheartedly. He did not let his worries about the costs of pursuing engineering to clip her wings. The narrow-mindedness of their extended family-who felt that educating a girl was a waste of resources since she is going to get married off one day anyway-was ignored.
With hard work and focus, Sahithi managed to get good marks in the JEE and she enrolled in the prestigious National Institute of Technology, Rourkela to study Computer Science Engineering. It was here that she learned about the Cognizant Foundation-FFE Scholarship Programme from a senior. Her application was accepted, and she received a full 4-year scholarship which covered her tuition fees-allowing her to pursue her dreams without any fear.
She was an extremely bright student and at the end of her engineering, she got placed as a Software Engineer with Oppo India. The job, which comes with a substantial pay packet, is the culmination of a long-held dream for both Sahithi and her parents.
“I owe my success to the Cognizant Foundation-FFE Scholarship Programme. It has helped me rise above poverty and achieve my goals. I hope that one day I will also be able to make substantial contributions towards empowering people like me who are in need,” Sahithi says.
The high cost to pursue higher education in Engineering is often a major barrier among meritorious students from underserved communities. Cognizant Foundation has institutionalized a scholarship programme to encourage aspiring students like Sahithi to pursue graduate study in STEM.
Started in 2009 as a direct implementation scholarship programme, the Foundation subsequently extended the programme to also partner with not-for-profits such as Foundation for Excellence India Trust (FFE), Bengaluru, Christel House, Bengaluru, Swadha Foundation, Bengaluru, Cognizant Outreach and Chennai Mathematical Institute, Chennai to award scholarships blended with mentoring and job readiness skills training.
Under this scholarship programme, Cognizant Foundation has supported 500+ meritorious students from indigent families who are pursuing STEM courses in reputed institutes Pan India.