Kolkata: A street child once, 19-year-old Angela Bernadette Ryle has now won a scholarship to Washington for a course on how to teach young children.
As part of a US State Department funded Community College Initiative Program (CCIP), she is among 35 students selected from all over India to study in various US community colleges.
"This is like a dream run for me. I never thought that I would be able to go so far in my life," Anglea told PTI.
At the tender age of five, she was rescued from footpath by members of the Rainbow Home, a shelter for street children, who also admitted her to Loreto School in Sealdah.
While pursuing her studies, she also used to spend her free hours as an English teacher for other street children at the Home.
"Now I want to take a step further and become a full-time teacher after finishing my studies," said Angela, who will be studying a one-year-course on `Early Childhood Education` at Pierce Community College, Lakewood, Washington.
After finishing class XII examinations, Angela now works as a childline team leader for the centre and also helps organising programs and conducting surveys on the plight of street children.
Wishing her luck, US Consul General Helen LaFave said educational exchange programs were fundamental to the US-India relationship.
CCIP co-ordinators said the initiative helps to build mutual understanding through a non-degree program of academic, vocational, and cultural studies.
Participants earn an academic certificate in their field of study and gain first-hand practical experience through professional internships, service learning and community engagement.