Dear Friend,

I am writing this very special message to all the supporters of Shanti Bhavan with my deepest gratitude.

Miracles are rare, yet the universe gave me two: my adoptive family and Shanti Bhavan. Orphaned as a young child, I could have been totally alone in the world. Instead, I was surrounded by love, first from my new parents and then from the school that became my home. Because of them, I have been accepted into Princeton University’s class of 2028 on a full scholarship!

Princeton is my dream school. Its mission statement, “In the nation’s service and the service of humanity”, resonates deeply with me. It reminds me of Shanti Bhavan’s mission to help and give dignity to India’s most disadvantaged children and communities.

If not for Shanti Bhavan, my life would have gone in a very different direction. Rather than hunger and uncertainty, I found the joyful competition of soccer, the chaotic creativity of choir, and the wonder of learning from the wide variety of Indian and international teachers who came to our school. Instead of a life of hardship, I learned leadership, creativity, scholarship, and compassion.

As I prepare for Princeton, I reflect upon the principles Shanti Bhavan taught me. I am determined to broaden my horizons and apply my knowledge to empower communities like mine. I want to pursue a major in international relations and economics because I believe now, more than ever, the world requires a commitment to global cooperation and unity as a shared responsibility to all its citizens.

The first in my family to pursue a degree, I see this moment as a cherished tribute to my late biological mother and father. Just as importantly, it is an homage to all those who nurtured and supported me along the way: my adoptive parents, my Shanti Bhavan family, and every Shanti Bhavan supporter across the world. Thank you, and I hope to make you all proud.


Hemant Sharma
Shanti Bhavan, Class of 2023
Princeton University, Class of 2028