I attended Vidya Vikas from the age of five up until the age of sixteen. Belonging in a traditional Hindu family, I soon realized that D/FW Hindu Temple and the Vidya Vikas classes stood as the sources of my knowledge of the Hindu religion. What many people do not realize is that Vidya Vikas has built a certain confidence in kids that has allowed them to share the virtues of this beautiful religion to the far corners of the world. For instance, I took a world history class in tenth grade. When the topic of Hinduism aroused, the teacher and other students allowed me to share my understanding of the religion; not only did I get to share the virtues of Hinduism, but it also allowed me to open my mind to the diversity of the world. Not only has the religious class of Vidya Vikas broadened my knowledge, but the language classes in Vidya Vikas has also let me extend my reach across the globe. Belonging to a Telugu family, my parents and I both consider Telugu to be an important mother-tongue. By taking a Telugu class in my years as a part of Vidya Vikas, I can now visit family members in India and speak with them freely. Furthermore, I also received the chance to learn other languages in Vidya Vikas; for instance, I took a Hindi class for the last couple of years of my study. An Indian child in America should not let his/her heritage die because he/she lives in a country other than India; instead, children in today’s world should strive harder to retain their rich culture, heritage, and virtues.
Furthermore, Vidya Vikas has not only allowed me to develop myself in terms of language and religion, but the organization has also allowed me to rise to higher levels of education. The principles and virtues that I have learned in the Vidya Vikas’ classrooms have carried past the boundaries of the temple and into my own life. Since I am currently in the eleventh grade, the PSAT/NMSQT test stood as a big event during the first semester. I prepped with nervousness and anxiety on my shoulders; I wanted to please my parents and push myself to a higher level of achievement and success. Because of my experience in the Bhagavad Gita class offered by Vidya Vikas, I decided to read the Bhagavad Gita to calm myself down or take my mind off the real-life stress. I realized that Arjuna faced a similar fear and anxiety as he prepared himself to fight in the Battle of Kurukshetra. Before the war, Arjuna started to cower in fear, and Lord Krishna had to console him. I realized that a brave warrior like Arjuna also experienced fear and anxiety in his life; however, his faith in and love for Lord Krishna carried him through his troubles and difficulties. As the PSAT test approached closer and closer, I found myself praying to God more and more. When the day arrived, I took the test in a calm manner. Fortunately, I recently found out that I have received National Merit status. Vidya Vikas has been my ticket to a better lifestyle and a higher education. I am forever grateful for the teachers and the classes at Vidya Vikas because my education extended to new reaches in the world. Thank you for the gift of a lifetime.