Angel Kumar was only in third grade when her parents told her she had to quit school. The precocious nine year old loved learning, but her parents simply couldn’t afford to pay her tuition anymore. Both of Angel’s parents were day laborers and barely made enough money to support the family. Angel’s mother had dropped out of school at the age of 16 in order to marry Angel’s father. She worked for many years, but crippling arthritis in her hands fueled an even deeper financial crisis in the family.
Situations like this are not unusual in Angel’s hometown of Bangalore, India. In fact, according to UNESCO, less than 25 percent of Indian youth pursue a college degree and only 10 percent of India’s workforce is employed in the formal sector.
Fortunately, things improved after Angel’s older brother enrolled at Christel House, a non-profit that builds and operates learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, and inner city Indianapolis. Christel House was founded by timeshare pioneer Christel DeHaan, who now provides healthcare, nutritious meals, character development, and other complementary services to children through her organization.
When Angel heard from her brother that Christel House offered free meals, computer training, and English classes, she begged her parents to apply. Angel enrolled shortly thereafter and became one of the organization’s brightest students.
Angel graduated from Christel House in 2013 and is now a sophomore in college studying psychology and journalism. She was recently offered an internship at the Times of India and also traveled to Florida in early 2015 to represent Christel House at the American Resort Development Association’s annual convention.
While at ARDA World, Angel chatted with Grand Pacific Resorts Co-President David Brown about her future plans. David encouraged Angel to seek out professionals who she can emulate and who freely share their wisdom and expertise, just as David sought advice from Christel DeHaan when he began Grand Pacific Resorts more than 25 years ago.
Grand Pacific Resorts congratulates Angel on her accomplishments. Angel is one of the hundreds of students who have benefited from Christel House, and we are a proud and longtime supporter of this transformative organization.