September 2020 - Peer Mentoring Group for Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars
When the first cohort of Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars who came to Emory struggled to keep pace with their classmates ten years ago, some Emory students volunteered to help them. After completing their residency program, the first cohort returned to India carrying newly gained knowledge and experiences. But a wonderful legacy has been created. Since then, this student initiative has evolved and grown into a well-organized body. Michael Goldberg (18C), a previous mentor who helped build this group, writes, “After realizing [the monks’] overwhelming hunger to devour anything I could offer, I started reaching out to some qualified friends to help me teach them as much as we could manage.”
Emory’s transition to remote learning and the need for physical distancing have not deterred the commitment of these amazing mentors as they continue to help the scholars with their biology, physics, math, and English. Even though the transition was challenging for both the mentors and the mentees at the beginning, they quickly learned to navigate the new technology and take advantage of the tools that the virtual world offers. This student-led initiative has benefited the monastic scholars immensely and through them it has supported ETSI’s mission to bring science education to the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India. The group, currently led by Jacob Klaus (21C), has nearly a dozen Emory student volunteers and hosts numerous weekly tutoring sessions.