CLASS OF 2016
Meet the graduates of the class of 2016. We shall continue to follow them wherever their lives lead them and post information when we receive it.
Bill Rathfon and Dana Reed wrote then:
Caroline attends Muruguru Girlʻs High School in Nyeri, Kenya. Her dream is to go to university and become a judge. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet her and her mother in June of 2015 when visiting the school for the second time. Dana and I have been supporting her by paying her tuition, room and board, which is beyond the means of her family in her small, rural town in Kenya. We have a lot of respect for these students who leave their families and travel off to boarding school, only returning between quarters. It makes our monetary support seem somewhat trivial compared to their personal dedication to their education.
Caroline Wangu - her first year in Secondary School
Caroline is now studying Business at Karatina University. Bill and Dana still remain in contact with Caroline and are supportive of her efforts. They recently said:
We have enjoyed watching Caroline grow from a girl just starting 9th grade to a young lady attending university. We remain in contact with her via email and enjoy sharing pictures and information about the families. We are impressed with her initiative: she passed the exam for being accepted to university, then took the steps necessary to enroll in the University of Karatina, which is nearby her family home. We are happy that we are still part of her life and get to share in her journey.
Caroline is now a university student
I have been so lucky to help support Peter in his secondary education for the last couple of years. Peter is like every kid in that he struggles with some subjects and loves others! He is outgoing and caring, every email and letter he sends always wishes me and my family the best. He wants to be an engineer and wishes to go to University soon. His drive, intelligence and creativity will no doubt allow him to be an amazing adult and most impressive engineer. He will contribute not only to his native Kenya but the to the world at large I am sure.
From Amy Parker, sponsor with Bruce and Elaine Rathfon
David met his sponsors, Lew and Pat Gray for the first time this past May. David, standing next to Pat, will be starting his Junior year in January when the new school year begins in Kenya. He was the top performing student on the National Exam from Iruri Primary School as an 8th grader. He performed so well he was actually recruited to attend a more prestigious secondary school. He continues to perform very well in his academics. He is one of two students from our 17 who has email access and is in contact with Lew and Pat. We are all very proud of David's success. And Lew and Pat just adore their two sponsored boys, Martin and David.
Here is what Pat and Lew have to say about their sponsored student David:
"David is a delightful young man. We met him in May of 2014 when we went to Iruri Primary School for five days before our safari in Tanzania. His high school is eight hours away and he, and all the scholarship students, came back to meet with our group. His grades at high school just keep improving and his average is B+. He wants to become an engineer, a goal he will attain. We're delighted to get emails from him when he is on school break"
Meet Vionel. Vionel is sponsored by Linda and Mehdi Morshed. Here Geoffrey is honoring Vionel for earning one of our 17 scholarships back in 2013. She will begin her third year of secondary school January 5 when the new school year begins.
Here is what Linda has to say about her experience sponsoring a student:
" When I visited Kenya in 2012 with Cat's Simba Safari's it was originally all about the wildlife for me. A side trip she arranged to a primary school changed that attitude. I was moved by the students' efforts in such humble surroundings. It reminded me of a humble boy with virtually no formal education who read by firelight. Ultimately he became the sixteenth President of the United States.
I was saddened to hear that only the top student received a scholarship and that motivated me to offer a scholarship to the second student in the class. I wanted there to be more hope in the eyes of eager students so they would not give up, thinking "if there is only one...
I was hoping it would be a girl and Vionel responded with the second highest score on the National Exam. She is now carrying a B average with 13 subject classes and constantly strives to do better, although it would be hard to beat her A's in Physics and Chemistry. I am so proud of her and want to see her finish high school and go on to college with my help. Who knows what she mght become?
Now there are 17 scholarships! What if education is the key to many of the problems in their country and through this gesture and the hard work of the students, we change part of the world? Wouldn't that be something?