Why I Give

Ritu Chouhan Zei ’04 is a current senior kindergarten parent. She and her husband, Markus, support the MICDS Fund and have designated their gifts to benefit Student Access, which provides generous financial aid for tuition and extracurricular programs for students of all backgrounds. She shared why she and her family feel it’s important to support MICDS.

MICDS means so much to me. Not only did it provide me with an excellent education and a solid foundation to navigate college and beyond, but it also gave me amazing friends, a framework for values and ethics, and a strong community. It helped me set standards for what I expect in my educational and professional life beyond MICDS, and for what I want for my own children’s education.

As much as I loved my time and experience at MICDS as a student, I continue to be amazed at the changes I’ve seen take place over the years. One of the most impressive aspects of MICDS is its ability to respect and stay true to tradition while fearlessly moving forward in a quickly-changing world, and this skill is reflected in its compassionate, generous and open-minded students. I am so proud of MICDS’ commitment to diversity, both in terms of its student population and in terms of the education and opportunities offered. I am a parent of one of the youngest students at MICDS, and it is heartwarming to hear Adiya’s excited chatter about the different cultures and traditions (including her own!) she is learning about. Her appreciation of other cultures is cultivated by the school so well and age-appropriately with cooking, singing, reading and parent involvement. I can’t wait to see what opportunities await her as she moves through her education at MICDS.

Great institutions and organizations are made great in large part by giving back through volunteering, donating and more. To me, it’s a way to show appreciation and pay it forward by helping give current students an even better education filled with more exciting opportunities.

My favorite MICDS memory is a toss-up between the annual pep rally/bonfire and Lessons and Carols. One so energetic and loud and the other very quiet and peaceful, but both give me such warm nostalgic feelings. I know how lucky I was to attend a school like MICDS and I feel even more blessed that I am able to give that to my own kids. In my line of work, I am reminded on a daily basis that not every child is so fortunate. Having access to a wonderful education should not be determined by financial means, and it is important to my husband and me that anything we can give back to MICDS is directed to help these children.