Résumés are all about showing off the best of your credentials and skills, but recently three teenage girls in India created impressive résumés based on what they’d want to accomplish, not what they already had.
When they went in to interview, the adults at companies were surprised to see three girls instead of three women - but they were even more surprised by what was on the bottom of the résumés.
“For me this resume will never be a reality," it read. "But you can change that."
That’s because in parts of India, a girl's birth might not be considered a good thing - and support is not given for them to receive an education. These three girls were working with the help of the non-governmental organization Salaam Bombay Foundation to show companies (and the rest of the world) the importance of funding girls’ education, to make it possible for them to someday have real résumés like this.
MTV News wanted to know more of what the Salaam Bombay Foundation had going on, so we spoke to teens Sameena and Sakshi, who are both seen in the video.
Both come from big families: There are six people in Sameena’s family, and ten people in Sakshi’s. None of their parents or older siblings have completed schooling beyond high school.
“My mother has studied till the fifth standard, while my three elder sisters have done their schooling till the eighth standard,” Sameena told MTV News.
Standards are equivalent to our grades, so Sameena's mother got as far as fifth grade and her sisters eighth grade. All of Sakshi's siblings are in school, Sakshi told MTV News, and her father studied until tenth standard, her mother until second standard.
Sameena’s father passed away when she was young and her mother works stitching decorative stones on clothes, but it doesn’t bring in a lot of income. For Sakshi’s large family, her mother, father and grandfather all work, bringing in about 15,000 Indian rupees each month altogether (That’s about equal to $235 in America.)
“Right now, all I want to do is complete my education,” Sameena said.
Both Sameena and Sakshi are going to schools that are assisted by the Salaam Bombay Foundation. Sameena has her eyes set on being a lawyer and Sakshi wants to get into accounting. They’re also each involved with the foundation's theatre academy.
“I love being in school and learning new things,” Sakshi said. “My favorite subjects are math and English. However, it has been a challenge given the family situation, but I’m lucky to have parents who support me fully and encourage me at every step. They want me to complete my education and have a good future.”
Both girls say they also want readers to understand the importance of education, especially when it comes to people from backgrounds like theirs. There are a lot of obstacles: In many parts of the world, primary education needs to be paid for and, on top of that, there is still some stigma around girls learning.
"People should understand that children like me also have potential and should be given a fair chance at getting a decent education," Sakshi said.
“It’s always a fight to educate the poor and underprivileged," Sameena said. "And when I make something of myself, I’ll use my position to support the cause as much as I can.”