If you have been a delegate to the Senate Youth Program, you have likely crossed paths with Chandini Bachman. A delegate herself in 1970 from Arizona, she has remained active in supporting the program and nurturing and mentoring delegates ever since. A founding member of the Alumni Association, Chandini has participated nearly every year at the mentoring tables and has helped make connections across the years, including reaching out and connecting with members of our “pandemic” classes of ’20-’22 through Linked In and directly. She has also offered great ideas for making new connections across “generations” of delegates—including a “Delegate Treasure Hunt” (searching for delegates from your state but a different decade). The same sense of cooperation has helped her stay in touch with members of the Hearst Program and speakers over the years. Chandini was even able to share her accomplished parents with us to celebrate the program’s 50th year at the National Gallery of Art in 2012. At our recent 2022 networking zoom call, one of our 2018 delegates told the room, “Chandini is the coolest person ever!”
One of Chandini’s special interests has been promoting the scholarship program over the years. She has encouraged delegates to apply and has provided keen insights into applicants and their progress. She will often remark that she met an applicant on their first day of Washington Week. Every year she has emphasized the importance of funding more scholarships to help more delegates pursue their academic objectives to be of even greater service to their communities. Not content to say, “We should give more scholarships,” she has helped with concrete ideas for encouraging contributions and expanding the Association’s ability to offer grants.
Therefore, it is fitting that we honor Chandini by adding the Chandini M. Bachman Scholarships (currently in the amount of $2500) to our existing scholarship offerings.
Chandini’s career has spanned many disciplines and approaches to service. After completing her education in design and creativity at the Rhode Island School of Design, she moved to D.C. in 1980 to pursue a career in public service. Along the way, she reached out to “Mom” Hearst, saying, in a thought so many of us have shared, that her participation in the Senate Youth Program opened doors she is still walking through. Chandini has initiated or collaborated on projects for Peace, Unity & Cooperation. She worked in the White House and the Office of Management and Budget, Senate and House offices on both sides of the aisle, and in D.C. liaison offices of four United Nations agencies. From 2008 through 2015, she worked as a certified interpretive tour guide in the U.S. Capitol, which brought together creativity, public service, and front-line representation of our country with visitors to the Capitol—including members of the USSYP Alumni Association!
Chandini has been a member of the Harvard Divinity School community beginning in 1972 and later studied directly with Sri Chinmoy. She is donating to the Harvard Divinity School her extensive contemporaneous collection of books and writings as Chinmoy’s student. She brought some of his words of insight to our Annual Meeting this year when discussing the scholarships:
God’s Message to the older generation:
“As long as you remain on earth,
You must realise that your days
Are equally as important
As those of the younger generation,
Whose hearts are all hope
And whose lives are all promise.”
— Sri Chinmoy
What better way to think about the scholarship program. We honor Chandini and our Chandini M. Bachman Scholarship award winners. We hope all alums will continue to “pay it forward” by contributing to all our scholarship funds and encouraging future scholarship applications.