Charushilla Narula is a high-impact education professional with an experience of over a decade of working with school and college students. She’s designed a seamless milestone process to mentor young adults that not only leads them to their dream universities but also prepares them for life. Her students have been selected at some of the best universities of the world – LSE, Columbia, NYU, Georgia Tech, UCB, UCLA, Boston, Durham, Kings, Geneva School of Diplomacy and many more. Moreover, empowering students with more than 45 million dollars in scholarships in less than 3 years, Charushilla believes that the story of her life is intertwined with the journey of her students that continues to be shaped through parenting (good or bad), social media and their inner calling.
India is shining. India is rising. India is becoming #atmanirbhar. What do these phrases mean without the youth of the country receiving the right inputs with regards to their lives, careers and dreams? Just like we need engineers and teachers and politicians (perhaps; ) we need guidance counsellors steering the youth forward.
Today, students will tell you that they want to make an appearance on Shark Tank, or be the youngest to hold a particular yoga pose or simply reach the highest level on a video game – will this dictate what they do in life? May be. Students love to dream and it is the role of a career planner to put foundations under those dreams. For there is nothing worse than not being able to live your potential. So in essence, empowering career choices is important for the mental and physical well-being of the youth, the nation.
In most scenarios, career decisions are life decisions. “The way a person lives life and the way he/she earns a living is crucial to their joy and happiness… The work a person does is an expression of their entire being.” Says the spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. In a world where staying focussed amid so many distractions has become an uphill task for adults, students are no strangers to it! These young minds need role models to listen to and emulate. That’s why while training the counsellors on how to guide students towards profile building and getting into the colleges of their dreams, mindfulness in career counselling is one of the most important aspects to touch base on. Students don’t just need information, that’s available on the internet rather they need someone who can process that information and present it to them, for them, with awareness. The role of a career and college guidance counsellor is no less than of Spiderman! Crazy comparison, but well while he saves the day by spinning webs around bad people, she knows how to meander through the webs of young minds digging out what truly should be focused on.
As a welcome move, the Delhi government recently introduced ‘Youth for Education’ initiative; after “Desh ke Mentors” where a career mentor within the age group of 18 to 35 years would be assigned to two to five students for a few months. What a novel way to bring in givers of the community under one platform!
Additionally, post the New Education Policy (NEP), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) collaborated with UNICEF to initiate the creation of a unique portal career guidance and counselling. It’s a lofty project that assimilates more than 560 careers under one platform, creating access for more than 21 million adolescents spread across 13 state governments. The fact that the portal will be available in regional languages, boasts of 1200 scholarships and will come with a school counsellor dashboard, truly shows that India is adopting the need for career counselling and guidance.
Location-specific college fairs be it online or physical witnessed a great extent of participation of the students from across the country. Post schooling is the time when the students have to take and make important decisions, which often has a huge impact on their careers and future. It is vital that at this pivotal point of their careers, they receive guidance the most. However, most of the students are deprived of proper guidance at this crucial point, especially in tier 2 & 3 cities. Location-specific college fairs helps expand the focus towards smaller cities and towns, India and the youth of India will become self-reliant or #atmanirbhar. The goal of building brighter future lies in our hands, as we either provide them the stimulation needed or expose them to fairs, counselling and more such events that kickstart the metamorphosis!
And I truly believe that we have miles to go before we sleep, discovering and rediscovering ‘the self’ at every passing milestone.