Monday, December 14, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Sonali Murthy

Sonali Murthy grew up in India before coming to the United States about 13 years ago. Her undergraduate degree is in economics and she received a Masters in Accounting and Information Systems from The University of Kansas in 1999. For most of the 2000s, Sonali worked as a consultant for Deloitte. Consultants are people who are sent out to companies around the country with problems in need of solving. Sonali helped telecomm clients with billing, customer service, and the implementation of IT systems. She would often be away from home for most of the week, flying out on a Monday and returning on a Thursday or Friday.

After awhile, Sonali got bored with work, but there was still one day that she loved. Deloitte employees have one day a year dedicated to community service, and Sonali always chose to work in a school. She is very passionate about the cause of education... so much so that she wants to be a teacher! Last year, she transitioned out of her consulting job and she is now pursuing a Masters in Education at Northwestern University and volunteering at the Academy for Urban School Leadership in her spare time. Her goal is to become a middle school math teacher in an urban school.

Sonali wants to give something back because she remembers how important her teenage years were. "In India, everyone has an 'it takes a village' mentality," she says. "You felt like you had to answer to everyone around you." She is also inspired by her grandfather who came to America on a ship and ended up going to Harvard. She realizes the importance of individual determination, but, also, the necessity of a support network. We at Cabrini Connections believe in the same necessities. We believe each youth has the ability to succeed, but 'it takes a village' to maximize his or her potential.

Sonali found out about us by Googling 'tutoring programs in the City of Chicago.' She started with her mentee, 7th grader Brittany Murphy, in August and is "absolutely loving it." She compliments our program on having great infrastructure, enthusiasm, organization, and commitment, and she says that she is very encouraged every time she comes to tutor. She and Brittany started off by talking about high school selection. Brittany identified the schools she wants to go to, all of which are challenging, and they are now focused on what needs to be done to get into them.

Away from tutoring and studying, Sonali is learning to play guitar. She will also be taking voice lessons soon. She loves jazz and the harmonica, and she also loves animals. She had a dog while in India that's 17 years old! For the holidays, Sonali is going to Florida for three weeks with her husband. Safe travels, Sonali. We look forward to your continued presence in 2010. Thanks for setting a great example!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sonali, you look as beautiful as ever. Nice to learn about you. Keep up the good work.