This man’s plea for help to pay his prodigy brother’s tuition is a pretty brutal wake-up call for the U.S.
In a world where one of the most privileged countries is seeing so many of its hardworking inhabitants drowning in a sea of student debt before their adult lives have even begun, how are people supposed to navigate if they don’t own a yacht?
Many of us find ourselves lamenting over the essence of that question, and Abhishek Kumar is no different.
Because he lives in a country – this country – where an annual $20k scholarship isn’t even close to enough to pay for school. Not even a little bit.
You see, Abhishek knows how much the world needs his brother’s help.
But first, he and his brother need the world’s help.
“He wants to go to film school so he can more effectively share the trials and tribulations of everyday people, and turn their seemingly ordinary lives into an extraordinary work of cinema. I know that it’s a lot of money to ask for, but each donation – any amount at all – adds up.”
Abhineet, who lives in India, graduated Summa Cum Laude from his undergrad program, and some of his films have already earned worldwide accolades – his work has been accepted into 7 different film festivals around the globe.
He has such a raw, incredible talent that he’s been accepted into some of the best film schools in the world: American Film Institute (AFI), Columbia University, and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) (notable alumni include Darren Aronofsky, Jennifer Lee, and Tim Burton).
In a way, Abhineet’s dreams have come true, because his #1 choice of schools recognized his potential and offered him an annually-renewing $20,000 scholarship. Unfortunately, those dreams may go unrealized, because the two-year program at Columbia comes with about $85,000 of tuition expenses.
Because Abhineet is an international student, he doesn’t qualify for federal loans – and a private bank would require a U.S. co-signer. And wouldn’t you know it, Abhishek has so much student loan debt himself, that he can’t even co-sign for his brother.
So, like any self-respecting big brother would, he’s set up a GoFundMe campaign to help put his brother through film school.
“The last time I saw Abhineet in person, I was dropping him off at the airport and saying goodbye with puffy eyes, telling him that I will do whatever it takes to bring him back to the United States to attend film school. This fundraiser is me trying to fulfill my promise to him.”
But it’s not just because it’s his big-brotherly duty and he loves his little bro.
It’s because he knows in his heart, and he can feel it in his gut that his brother is going to be the most important storyteller of his generation:
Abhishek can feel it in his bones, the future of the stories his brother is going to tell. And he can already hear the whispers of the forgotten; the ones who so desperately need someone, someone like his little brother, to give them a voice so they can be heard and someone to be the first ears that finally hear them.
“My little brother and I have always shared a special bond. I remember holding him as a baby and being filled with a sense of responsibility – I had to be the best big brother I could possibly be.”
But that’s something he doesn’t need the rest of the world for, and I think it’s safe to say he already is. Maybe you can help him with the rest.
“The poet Yeats once said, ‘But I, being poor, have only my dreams.’ I hope you’ll help me turn my brother’s dreams into reality. Thank you.”