To celebrate and explore the potential of student leadership, Teach For All is collecting and sharing stories from across the network and around the globe. When students LEAD, we all LEARN.

Teach For India

Attending school despite all odds

Student Leaders
Srivalli - GHS Durgabhavani Nagar
Adult Supporter
Rebecca Elias
Age of Students
9 grade

Please describe how your students exercised their leadership and the impact they had.

Srivalli comes from a troubled family with only her 60+ year old grandmother to take care of her and her younger sibling. Despite all odds at home she makes it a point to come to school every single day. Our school has an afternoon shift so she finishes all the work at home and then attends school. She is an active participant in all activities at school and none of the issues or problems at home deters her spirit to excel in the work she does at school. She is an office bearer for the Rotary club, conducts morning assembly in school, takes care of lunch distribution in school and helps us organize events. She is great at art and craft and as a part of the women's day celebrations in school she even conducted a session for 30+ teachers and taught them the art of quilling. She spoke confidently and managed to be a teacher for all the teachers who attended the session that day. After school, she helps her younger brother who is in my class with his homework, makes dinner for the family and takes out time to complete her studies after that. As a secretary of the Interact club she will be leading a lot of initiatives this year which include, creating cleanliness awareness in the school, teaching personal hygiene to the primary school students, creating awareness on the pollution levels in the community, speaking about water problems etc. She is a true leader for me because of the values she exhibits - grit, courage, self respect, confidence, empathy and a passion to learn and to lead by example.

What role did you play in supporting your students’ leadership?

I do not teach Srivalli, but I teach her brother. However, she visits me often and speaks to me whenever she needs any advice or guidance. I manage the rotary club for the school and get to interact with her as she is one of the office bearers.

What did you and your students learn in this activity that will endure beyond today?

As mentioned above, she is a true leader for me because of the values she exhibits - grit, courage, self respect, confidence, empathy and a passion to learn and to lead by example. While I teach about these values in my classroom, I get to see these values through her. I hope that she continues to be a leader and inspires many more through her example.