This is an inspiring story of a class 11 student from Puddukkottai in Tamil Nadu who braved all challenges with hard work, grit and determination to win a trip to NASA. Let’s take a moment to appreciate K Jayalakshmi for scripting history as she is the only girl from a government school to have achieved the feat.
She will be visiting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in May next year as she clinched online competition, conducted by Go4Guru. The interesting part is that she doesn’t know English because she is a Tamil medium student. She took English coaching classes for a month and scored ‘Grade 2’. She was the best performer there.
She takes care of her mentally challenged mother including her younger brother. She studies science at the government high school located in Adanakottai. Apart from school hours, she takes tuition classes for Class 8 and 9 students.
It is also worth mentioning here that Jayalakshmi is the sole breadwinner of her family. She sells cashews in a bid to make ends meet. She is also one of the few winners of a competition that will give her the chance to have a full tour of NASA and interact with top astronauts.
On top of that, the winners will be taken to places like Disney World. She learnt that the competition conducted by Go4Guru by chance. “When I was practising for a carrom match, I saw a newspaper lying beside the board. It had a story about Dhaanya Thasnem, who won a chance to go to NASA last year. I was intrigued and immediately went home and registered for the exam,” TNIE quoted her as saying.
Jayalakshmi who is an academically talented girl has won several scholarships such as the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship. It is not that easy to afford a trip to NASA and thanks to the collector who promised to meet her travel expenses. The NASA trip is going to cost around 1.70 lakh rupees.
She said, “My father lives separately and sends money once a while. My teachers and students pitched in to help me get a passport. The passport officers also offered me Rs 500. I have requested the Collector to help me with expenses.”
Talking about her pinnacle of success she said, “I want to make a rocket-like Abdul Kalam. No one from a government school has won this trip. I want to inspire government school students. If I can do it, so can they.”