The potential of women is limitless, second chance scholarships help women around the globe reach and surpass their potential. Interested in helping women receive education, or in applying for a scholarship?

Continue reading, learn the story of Aurora and see how her application brought her the chance to become a second chance scholarship recipient!

The story of Aurora

I am applying for financial aid at this time because I want to have a second chance for my higher education, essential for the realization of my dream of bringing a change in my community with the help of leadership, empathy and diversity inclusion.

I am a fresh graduate from a technical undergraduate college in India, unable to afford my education in New York City independently. Despite having the passion, grit, and commitment to pursue my higher education at Columbia University, the financial constraint is a big hurdle.

I belong to a conservative small town in Uttar Pradesh, India named Meerut. My high school was an all-girls institution where Home Science (teaching, cooking, hospitality, etc.) was an important elective but Computer Science not, since the bias that engineering is good for boys while household work for girls, persisted.

My passion to empower women

With some of my friends, I initiated the reform of introducing Computer Science in the curriculum for creating new possibilities for my juniors and succeeded.

I am the first girl child in my family who studied Computer Science Engineering, the first in my city to have visited Stanford University for a summer term to study Computer Science and the only girl from an Indian institution to have participated in the international entrepreneurial program ‘Silicon Valley Innovation Academy’ during Stanford summer.

While keeping up with my love for promoting welfare among student communities, I have worked with organizations like Leaders for Tomorrow as the Campaign Manager for Anti-Drugs and Anti-Ragging Campaign, WHO, Unicef and USAID as youth volunteer.

My bachelor degree in Voca Singing, diploma in Kathak (Indian Classical dance) and work as the Editor-In-Chief for Pratibimb, the BVPIEEE Magazine, sum up my enthusiasm in learning new skills and vivacity to pursue them. While leading the Women In Engineering team at BVPIEEE as the Chairperson and working for Lean In India, my aim has always been to encourage marginally under-represented groups to find support.

Working hard to change my life

I was applauded for being the highest performing Stanford Global Ambassador and honored with Google Women Techmakers scholarship in 2016 for my community work, academic excellence and leadership. I have been financially independent since then. Financial independence allowed me to fight stereotypes and take up more responsibilities as the eldest sibling, daughter and more.

It has not only created a change in the mindsets of the society in Meerut about girls in engineering but also created a ripple effect and role model for young girls from small conservative towns and all-girls institutions.

Looking beyond

After the entrepreneurial exposure in the Bay Area, I eventually developed an interest in Business Operations and Entrepreneurship and wanted to pursue higher education in an interdisciplinary program with both business and engineering.

I am thrilled to have been admitted to the International House New York which fosters a diverse generation of residents that thrive on empathy, unanimity and fighting unjust biases.

I am joining the Lean In at Columbia University Moderator training this fall and will be leading a Lean In Circle on campus from the next semester. I plan to promote mental health awareness and formulate a more secure channel for reporting sexual abuses on campus during my tenure as a Circle Leader.

My passion for elevating the status of underrepresented groups, making efforts to change the society to be more inclusive and consistent learning for personal improvement as a citizen and a leader, will persist during my graduate student life at Columbia University.

Dealing with financial obstacles

The huge financial investment required for Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering at Columbia University has been the biggest hurdle in my journey of realizing the dream of bringing a change in the society with innovation using business, technology and diversity inclusion within the industry.

Hence, I want to apply for financial aid because I want to be able to graduate from Columbia University and become a role model not only for ambitious small-town Indian girls like me but also for anybody who wants to dream big despite the stereotypes pulling them back.

I want to make a difference in the world with my ideas and commitment as a strong independent woman of color studying in the United States of America, who would achieve the then unimaginable goals she had set for herself because of her passion, hard work and help from the Asherah Foundation.


Aurora is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2017’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. A truly ambitious individual, Aurora has never stopped dreaming big, her courage guiding her on unknown paths.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

About us – Working to provide second chance scholarships for women

Dedicated to providing Second Chance Scholarships to Women around the world, the Asherah Foundation helps women obtain a post-secondary credential.

We would like to thanks our donors! We are happy to help women get access to education together! Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us.

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