Minu Basu

“Education is a wealth that no one can steal from you.”

Mrs. Minu Basu

“I was born and brought up [in Mumbai]. I come from a low-middle-class family, so education was super important for me.  We lived in a very small apartment — 250 square feet. I went to a girls-only school. After I finished my bachelor’s and master’s … I started teaching in a college in India. I got married and came to the U.S. … when I was 25. I didn’t know how to drive. I’d never lived by myself. When I came to America, I wasn’t teaching then; I got into biotech, I was doing research on Hepatitis B vaccines. Then I had kids, so I stayed at home to raise them … then I came back into teaching. The education system was different [in India], because there’s only one semester final which will decide whether you passed or failed. If you don’t do well on that, you repeat the entire year. Here, [school] is a cumulative grade … of your study habits, your homework, classwork, quizzes and tests. We have a big Asian community presence, so [the pressure] feels almost the same. Dougherty is a very privileged school, so [students] haven’t seen economic diversity. [In India], life was hand-to-mouth … but my dad always instilled in us the importance of education, and he always told us that it is a wealth that no one can steal from you.”

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