From delivering the paper to working at a top-ranked multinational

Sathibabu Chunduri is the first person in his family able to read and obtain an education, so seeing him graduate from JNTU Kakinada with a mechanical engineering degree and getting a job at a top multinational company is a clear example of how far Next Step Foundation’s scholarship recipients can go if given the opportunity.

“I would like to thank Next Step Foundation for its generosity and the personal investment and good faith they put into my future,” he said.

Sathibabu says he knew from a young age going to school would put a big financial strain on his family, one that his parents couldn’t afford. So, in elementary school, he started delivering newspapers before dawn to earn money for his books and other school-related expenses.

Over the years he received multiple scholarships as he always ranked at the top of his class, which allowed him to eventually attend JNTU Kakinada, which he remembers it as a remarkable phase and a top highlight in his life. Shortly after graduating in 2020, he was chosen for a competitive one-year program at Reliance Industries, where he’ll be exposed to various aspects of the engineering workforce.

 Although the program has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sathibabu is busy studying for the qualifying exams to get a master’s degree in engineering.

Here is his story in his own words…

When the alarm went off at 4 AM, I, Sathibabu, used to be up on my feet, stacking my father’s bicycle with newspapers. I had to deliver them before the dawn, because, when the sun appears on the horizon, my father must start his daily journey for labour. I was born to illiterate mother and father, who is still a daily labourer. Our family had liabilities than what my father could earn. So, I determined not to be a burden to my father anymore. So, I started sharing the weight on my father’s shoulders from my high school days. From 7th standard to graduation, I earned my expenses for education. Up to 10th standard, I studied in an aided school, where there was no tuition fee. Being topper of my class, I was awarded with scholarships, with which I managed my books. I got free seat in Intermediate (10+2) for securing high score in 10th standard. I cracked EAMCET 2016 with 2000 rank and joined mechanical engineering in Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada.

Remarkable phase in my life is my days of graduation in JNTU – Kakinada.  The support through ‘YES scholarship’ , Next Step Foundation- NSF helped me to get alleviated from the financial burden levied by higher studies. For that, I would like to thank NSF for its generosity and the personal investment and good faith it had put into my future. As I maintained my GPA consistently at 8 and retained the attendance more than what is required in eligibility criteria, I was granted YES scholarship, throughout 4 years.

I am also happy for being chosen for Graduate Engineer Trainee (GET) Program at Reliance. The one-year on/ off shore program is said to be designed to provide me nice exposure on functional and cross-functional areas. Training program, which is originated to put young engineers on the fast track is deferred to a couple of months due to the Corona pandemic. Meanwhile, I am also preparing for GATE 2021, a qualifying examination for Master’s in engineering.  I strongly believe that it may further open a lot of pathways to shape up my future.

I would like to thank NSF, not only for its charity, but also for teaching me a great life-lesson: don’t be afraid of the responsibilities, accept the challenge and just wing it!