Summer 2014 SEEKHO Innovations Fellowship

Program Overview 

As SEEKHO will be expanding its focus in the coming months from a purely educational and well-being NGO to encompass other areas of holistic rural development, this fellowship program will be a  fantastic opportunity to help SEEKHO continue its phenomenal growth.

We have selected 8 fellows from an extremely competitive applicant pool of 35. These highly motivated and accomplished international students from schools such as The University of Pennsylvania, Waterloo University, National University of Singapore, Elon University, Azim Primji University, the India Institute of Technology (IIT), and Princeton University will be joining us on the ground in Bihar for two innovation filled months starting June 1st.  They will be working as a fully autonomous team gathering data on existing educational problems while helping to develop processes, models, and metrics for scalability.  

This incredibly creative and diverse group of fellows will be joining a culture and family that lives by the philosophy 'SEEKHO AUR SIKHAO', which means to learn and to teach.  Additionally, we do not believe in hierarchy and as such the fellows will not only have an tremendous amount of freedom with which to take on new projects, but they will also be encouraged to conduct regular workshops where they will impart their own unique skill sets to local changemakers in the community.   

Let's make amazing things happen!


Meet the Summer of 2014 Innovation Fellows! 

Jason Fernandes: University of Pennsylvania

Jason became interested in the Fellowship Program because it combines his interest in education with his experience doing evaluation research. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life, and he hopes that his summer with SEEKHO can provide some guidance. Jason also loves performing arts, and he dances in a latin dance troupe and plays the djembe in a Middle Eastern drum and dance troupe.


Caley Mikesell: Elon University 

Caley sees her collaboration with SEEKHO as an opportunity to express her gratitude for all that she learned in her previous study in India and hopes that this is the beginning to her career as a social science researcher. When she’s not teaching English or working on education/public health research, Caley is likely enjoying tennis, music, cooking, or the outdoors.


Jamie Oliver: Princeton University 

Interning at three startups as well as volunteering at Bellevue Hospital has taught Jamie, a pre-med Princeton psychology/neuroscience major, the positive impact teamwork can have on developing innovative projects. He’s looking forward to collaborative creative problem solving with SEEKHO's extraordinary fellows and staff, as well as sharing his hip-hop and soccer interests. But most exciting to him is his anticipation of meeting and working with the children of Bishanpur.


Akshay Jain: National University of Singapore 

Akshay is an aspiring social entrepreneur who seeks to effect grassroots change in the education systems of India. Currently, he is relishing his undergraduate journey at the National University of Singapore where he studies Economics. He has been on a host of international study trips to understand NGOs and development models across Asia. He is also an avid reader and a globe-trotter!


Ben Carr: Waterloo University 

Ben is in a Bachelor's program called Knowledge Integration. The program has given him a chance to learn about concepts like design and systems, and what it looks like to enable people from different backgrounds to work together in tackling tough social and environmental problems. Meditation is a big part of his life, and last semester he coached a Community of Practice exploring Mindfulness (Vipassana) meditation. He is pretty easy going and loves to have fun. He is attracted to SEEKHO because the people involved are rockstars, and because the vision of creating self-sustaining cultures of learning is inspiring to him and         something he wants to be a part of. 


Varun Sharma: Azim Premji University 

An Engineering graduate from BKBIET, Pilani.  Post his Engineering he has worked for 2 years in his own village towards Education and Awareness.  Currently he is studying Education at Azim Premji University.  He has a strong affinity for rural areas (as he himself belongs to one) and wants to explore various areas related to Education, especially community-specific curriculum design.  But education is an entirely interdisciplinary field, so he is looking forward for a great experience and very eager to meet everyone in Bishanpur.


Parminder Gill: Azim Premji University 

Parminder is pursuing his M.A. in Development from Azim Premji University. This program has taught him that development is not a one-way road where one dictates that others follow it. The program has taught him to question the whole paradigm of development including who it's for and what is being affected by it.