Read’s Ride for Rising Star
Many people share their time and talents to help Rising Star Outreach be effective in the work of assisting those with leprosy. Keith Read organizes an annual bike ride, Read’s Ride for Rising Star Outreach, and reaches out to friends and family to make this a meaningful event. This year it was a smashing success! On behalf of Rising Star Outreach, I thank him for his enthusiasm and passion year after year to raise awareness and money for Rising Star Outreach. Keep those bike wheels turning!
Shawn Bradley Golf Tournament
Each year Shawn Bradley shares his passion for Rising Star by hosting a golf tournament. In September the 5th Annual Shawn Bradley Golf Charity Invitational was held at the beautiful Red Ledges Golf Course in Heber City, Utah. Unusual rainy weather had been forecast, but on the day of the tournament the skies were blue and the vibrant autumn colors provided a spectacular backdrop for the many participants and guests that supported the event. When people think of Shawn Bradley they may think of his height or his successful basketball career, but I think of his incredible giving heart and the hope he offers to those affected by leprosy by providing the means for medical care, micro-grants, and the opportunity of receiving an education.
We were also honored to have Mehmet Okur, Randy Rigby, and Chad Lewis spend the day supporting Shawn and Rising Star Outreach. A special thank you to them for their part in the success of this day. In my book, they each hit a hole-in-one for Rising Star Outreach!
Thank you to all our sponsors and volunteers and participants of the day! You have made this year another year of success!
Education with Rising Star
Many children living in leprosy colonies do not have nor have they ever had leprosy. However, they are often rejected from society due to the lingering stigma surrounding the disease. Because of this stigma these children do not have the opportunity to receive an education. Thankfully, Rising Star Outreach looks beyond the stigma and believes every child should have the advantage of an education. The Peery Matriculation School located on our campus offers rigorous academic programs to almost 300 students, who without Rising Star Outreach would not have this opportunity!
Rising Star Outreach believes in educating children, because education gives children options, education can end the cycle of poverty and education can remove the stigma associated with leprosy.
For many years I was an educator in Utah and in New York City. When I first visited the Rising Star Outreach campus in India, I was impressed with the educational programs because I saw first-hand their effectiveness to make positive changes in the students’ lives. As a volunteer I remember sitting under a tree in the mango grove assisting the children with elementary English. I taught a basic phonics lesson about the short “a” sound by using the elements around me: “We sat on the mat and patted the mat, while the ant ambled by.” It was magical as I witnessed the student grasping the short “a” sound!
Today the classrooms are more sophisticated, but the process, so “painful and insignificant,” is where “success is being achieved” at Rising Star Outreach.
Recently Ms. Nathiya (Standard IX teacher) and Mr. Dhanasekaran (Standard X teacher) recognized two outstanding students for their moral leadership and school work.
“Naveen Raj is a quiet young man who has shown ability in leadership and responsibility. His family lives in the Government Leprosy Home at Paranur, near Chengalpet. His father has leprosy, and sadly his mother recently passed away. Naveen Raj is a promising student who wants to become a computer engineer. He dances well and is a member of LifeDance, a prestigious dance troupe at Rising Star Outreach in a partnership with Promethean Spark International.
“Naveen is also a star athlete. At the district level he has won gold medals in running, a silver medal for discus throw, and a bronze medal for long jump. He is a proud member of the Student Council and is also the School Pupil leader.
“The transformation of his life from a dismal past in a leprosy colony to a bright and brilliant future is due to the intervention of Rising Star, and he is very grateful to God for providing him with these opportunities.”
“Vijayalakshmi M. is a cheerful and responsible young woman in the 10th standard. Her family lives in Chettipunyam. Her father is a truck driver, and her mother is a homemaker. She also has an older brother.
“She does well in all her subjects because of her dedication and intelligence. Sometimes she even wakes up at 3:00 a.m. to study for her exams! She plans to join the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), which is the premier administrative civil service of the Indian government.
“Vijayalakshmi is a talented dancer and is a member of Life Dance—a dance troupe that not only teaches dancing, but also teaches life skills and values through dance.
“Vijayalakshmi is also a good athlete and has won gold and silver medals at the zonal and district levels in running. She is interested in arts and crafts and has won prizes for theme drawing.
“Most of her peers in the colony do not have much to look forward to except marriage and routine jobs, but thanks to her God-given talents and the intervention of Rising Star Outreach, Vijayalakshmi has the opportunity of becoming a builder and architect of the nation in the highest echelons of the government. She says when she gets a job and ‘lots of money’, she wants to open a school to teach poor people to dance.”
Thanks to incredibly dedicated teachers at Peery Matriculation School like Ms. Nathiya and Mr. Dhanasekaran, Rising Star Outreach students are not only involved in rigorous academic learning, but also life lessons that enable them to accomplish their educational goals. This education will help them become leaders at Rising Star Outreach and throughout India.
Anne Sullivan, the beloved teacher, knew Helen Keller had the potential to not only learn, but also achieve great things. We at Rising Star Outreach believe each of our students—when given the opportunity to learn—will lift their own lives and those in the leprosy colonies that do not have those same opportunities. My sincere appreciation for your continued support of Rising Star Outreach. You are Rising Stars in significantly transforming lives.
Rising Star Outreach