Poverty & Education:
A cycle of oppression
Over 100 million children in India live in extreme poverty, ⅓ of all poor children in the world. They were born into a cycle of injustice and social discrimination. Girls, especially have very few choices. They are at-risk of sex trafficking, forced child labor and adolescent marriage.
Schools for the marginalized poor, when they do exist, are rudimentary and often struggle to get the resources they need.
We have an audacious plan.
Over the next decade, together, we can establish ten world-class academies. In a generation, the education system for impoverished children in India will be transformed.
Radical Transparency for
a Radical Solution
Our partners go through a rigorous due diligence process with our on-site Partner Coordinator, along with oversight from our US-based staff. The required audit includes financial statements, legal documentation, strategic plans and leadership profiles.
The Education Advisory Council developed a Core Competencies framework for regular impact measurement of teachers and schools.
Over the last 10 years, Dennis Mathew, Tom Varghese, and a core team of other supporters and champions, have been raising awareness and fundraising for important initiatives in India, primarily focused on rescuing women and children from sex trafficking and slavery.
Through these efforts to provide restoration and rehabilitation, the team recognized that education was one of the keys to breaking the bondage of poverty, injustice, and social discrimination. However many schools for the underprivileged in India were underfunded and lacked the resources to provide truly transformational learning.
Along with charter board members and key staff and supporters, they created a 501c3 nonprofit charity, Bloom India, to meet this need.
A relationship quickly emerged with Gerard Valavan, Founder and Headmaster of Divine Mercy School in northeast Bangalore. The school, committed to providing tuition-free education for over 400 local boys and girls, most of whom are first-generation learners, was struggling and at a crossroads without funding. Providentially, with both mission and vision was aligned, Bloom India came alongside them to create the first Bloom India Academy.
Bloom India has also partnered with Darsha Academy, an innovative tuition-free pre-university course (PUC), similar to an 11th and 12th-grade preparatory school in the US. Darsha Academy’s vision is to prepare resilient young women for leadership and community transformation through education and character development.
Bloom India Primary School
Bloom India’s Primary School, known locally as Divine Mercy School, provides quality education to over 400 underprivileged children. Most of these children come from the Dalit caste, known as Untouchables, and most are first-generation learners. Their parents are daily wage earners, who work at the local quarry, in construction, and as maids. Headmaster Gerard is the founder and visionary of the school and has dedicated his entire life to educating impoverished children to prevent trafficking, adolescent marriage, and forced child labor. We know that education IS freedom for this community.
The Darsha Academy
We are pleased to partner with The Darsha Academy, a Pre-University Course (PUC) that prepares resilient young women for leadership and community transformation through education and character development. Pre-University Courses are similar to an 11th and 12th grade in the US. It is required for students entering university, but is often unaffordable to low-income families. Darsha focuses on STEM-based curriculum, to prepare young women for studying in a math- and science-focused university. We are excited to see young women empowered and equipped to pursue their dreams!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Executive Director, Bloom India
Dennis is the co-founder and executive director of Bloom India. In this role, Dennis works with the board to set overall strategy, supports fund raising activities and drives programming in India. Dennis has been working with non-profits in leadership capacities over the last twenty years. He strongly believes that every child deserves a real childhood and his two daughters, Emilie and Micayla, have only deepened this conviction.
Dennis Mathew is also the Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region (WNER). As the head executive of this region, Dennis oversees nearly 1.7K employees and all aspects of the residential and commercial businesses including sales, marketing, financial performance and customer experience. WNER serves almost 1M customers in 300 communities throughout New England.
Previously, Dennis was named a “Top 40 Under 40” executive by the Philadelphia Business Journal and Multichannel News and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania ‘s Wharton School of Business.
Dennis enjoys spending time with his family which includes visiting nearby sites in New England, exploring restaurants in neighboring towns, playing games and building Legos.
Board of Directors
Jon George, MD
Interventional Cardiologist at Pennsylvania Hospital and Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Jon lives in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and two children (ages 8 and 6). He works as a cardiologist and has been on several medical mission trips around the world including Haiti, Kenya, and most frequently to India. Jon is passionate about serving the underserved in healthcare, which has led to his involvement in various humanitarian projects. It is this passion that connected him to the mission and vision of Bloom India and he serves on the Advisory Board of the organization. In his free time, Jon loves to travel with his family and play sports with his children.
Jocelyn Kuryan, MD
Ophthalmologist, Partner, TriCentury EyeCare
Jocelyn works as an ophthalmologist and serves on the Board of Managers for Vantage EyeCare, the largest ophthalmology practice in the Delaware Valley. She is a mother of three and a long-time advocate for women and children who have fallen victim to sex-trafficking in India. She believes that education means freedom for so many women and girls. Jocelyn has provided vision screenings on several medical trips to India. Besides performing specialty eye procedures, Jocelyn loves to spend time with her family and travel.
Johnson (Ben) Parayil
Assurance Partner, EY
Ben currently lives in Houston, TX, but is originally from NY. He graduated from the State University at Albany with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and minors in Business Administration and Economics. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family & friends and traveling. Ben is a longtime friend of the co-founder of the Bloom Academy High School. He is passionate about education, especially for marginalized individuals. He is excited to serve on the Board of Bloom India and believes education is key to opening opportunities to drive sustainable changes for individuals, families and communities.
Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner, Eventide Asset Management
Robin John and his wife Jaunita were both born in India and have a heart for the people in India. Although Robin moved to the U.S. on his 8th birthday, he continues to stay closely connected to India. In 2008, Robin co-founded Eventide Asset Management, a values-based and socially responsible investment firm in the United States. Robin serves as CEO and Managing Partner at Eventide. Robin and the founders of Eventide are involved in supporting various schools around the world, including a high school in Uttarakhand, India. In 2019, Robin and Jaunita, along with Tom and Leena Varghese, founded Bloom India High School in Bangalore, India in order to provide leadership training and an academically-rigorous education to high caliber young women from underprivileged backgrounds, and empowering them to discover their true identity, purpose, and potential so they can become catalysts for change in their communities. Robin and Jaunita have 3 children: Olivia, Christian, and Gianna.
John Kuryan, MD
Allergist, Managing Partner, Allergy & Asthma Care
John works as a physician specializing in the management of allergies and asthma. He is a father of three and is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan. He and his wife have been long-time volunteers with medical and educational projects in India. Recently, he helped steer Bloom India’s brand and creative identity initiative. John is passionate about the work of Bloom India because he firmly believes that we can help end the cycle of poverty, slavery and injustice through improved access to education and healthcare.
Education Advisory Council
Christy Ware Biscocho, Associate Director of Mobilization for Teach Beyond
Winson T. George, PhD, DO, Physician at Mainline Health and Faculty for the Bryn Mawr Family Practice Residency Program
AJ Juliani, Faculty for the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Speaker and Author
Karunakar Kothapalli, PhD, Professor of Physics, King University
Farzana Nasreen, PhD, Physics
Jooly Philip, PhD, Assoc. Professor, English; Chair, Dept of English, Trevecca Nazarene University