The video call was relatively quiet until Radha* popped her face onto the screen. “Do you know my name?” she asked Katie Leonard, Back2Back staff and Hope Program mentor, in a voice deeper than expected for a young girl.
“So many of the girls are timid with me, so Radha’s pop quiz surprised and delighted me,” shared Katie. “I got nervous, though, because I’m still learning their names, and I wanted to get it right, to show her how much I cared.” Katie gave it her best shot, but wasn’t correct. Radha quickly put on a face of offense, then laughed loudly as she corrected Katie on her name. This mischievous, fun behavior is a hallmark of who Radha is to those who know her best.
Radha joined the Back2Back Hope Campus several years ago when it first opened. She was among the older group of girls during her time there, and has grown into a very intelligent, athletic young woman. When she wasn’t studying on campus, she was riding bikes or playing badminton or basketball with the other girls.
Prior to joining the Hope Education Program, if visiting mission guests would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she always answered, “An athlete” with complete assurance. The confidence she displays when answering questions is who Radha has grown to become. Her likeable personality, ease in conversation, and sense of humor makes her a good friend and fun classmate.
Radha was one of the first seven young women who helped develop the Hope Education Program in India. Since joining, Radha has completed Junior College (the Indian equivalent of Junior and Senior years of high school) and recently received very exciting news.
Her time away from campus has shifted her future goals, and she is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. At the end of November, Radha will be attending one of the best engineering universities in Hyderabad with a full ride scholarship!
Staff, mentors, and sponsors all contribute to Radha’s dedication and outlook on life. With their support and her distinct calling, she is stepping toward a life she’s only dreamt of until now. Sponsorship, advocacy, and prayer are key components to young women like Radha who make bold choices, creating new opportunities for themselves and those who follow. This legacy is something we gladly endorse and celebrate.