Our second-ever cohort of students completed high school in mid-November and are now among the small percentage of people in their community with a secondary school education. Congratulations to these 7 girls and 7 boys for this BIG achievement. Among this group are students who were regularly ranked in the top five of their class throughout high school, some who learned a fourth language (in addition to the three most young people have acquired by the end of 8th grade), and those that were turned on to poetry, science, drama and athletics during their four years in high school.
What’s next for the graduates? Well, they all await the results of a national exam they took in November, for which their individual results have implications for government subsidies and scholarships to public colleges and universities. SYEF students have earned those scholarships in the past, and we are hopeful for this group as well. With a high school education, they also become competitive for jobs in their community. Our previous graduates work in restaurants, military training bases, as research assistants for NGOs, and more. Although unemployment in Samburu is high, the graduates’ level of education places them at an advantage.
But, our goal is larger than enhancing our students’ chances for university scholarship and jobs. With a high school education comes skills to evaluate both short and long term implications of decisions, to more accurately see cause and effect relationships, to understand the importance of extending rights and respect to people from all tribes, genders and religious affiliations. In short, to become leaders.
Congratulations to our graduates. You make us proud!