Deloitte United States: Achievement centers with Pratham USA
Creating achievement centers to increase access to secondary school for young women
Education is a foundational tool in breaking cycles of poverty and unemployment, but for many young women in India, this opportunity does not exist. According to UNICEF, more than eight million children, a large portion of them girls, did not attend school in 2009. To help address this issue, Pratham USA is launching achievement centers in India focusing on secondary education for girls. The achievement centers enable disenfranchised teenage girls to acquire secondary school certification and develop vocational skills to help them gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency when they return to their local villages.
The first achievement centers opened in July 2011. The students are receiving training that emphasizes technology, leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, and problem solving. They are also receiving assistance in looking for jobs and are encouraged to start their own enterprises. Finally, in addition to learning new skills, the young women are also learning how to impart their skills to others so they can help improve the livelihoods of those in their local villages.
Deloitte U.S. helped design and plan this innovative secondary education program, and professionals from Deloitte U.S. and U.S. India will serve as volunteers by teaching technology and personal finance classes, providing continuing education to center teachers, and serving as one-on-one mentors to the students.
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"Education is an investment that pays off time and time again, which is why we have aligned with a respected NGO , Pratham USA, to create a learning program with the potential to break the cycle of poverty for thousands of Indian youth. The achievement centers are designed to educate teenage girls in impoverished circumstances and to give them the tools they need to spread that education to children in their homes and villages. The program’s amplifying ripple effect in which the student becomes the teacher is a win for their communities, a win for Deloitte US volunteers, and a smart investment in building skills for the future.”
– Barry Salzberg, CEO Deloitte LLP (June 2007-May 2011), DTTL Global CEO (as of 1 June 2011)