Josephine Nyakundi, a Kenyan girl who was on the brink of dropping out of school some years ago due to lack of fees has been admitted to an elite US university.
When Josephine’s eldest sister joined high school, their parents were ready to sacrifice the education of her other siblings by pinning all their hopes on her success.
Her father worked as a driver for a local bank and the little he earned could not sustain the family let alone pay school fees for all of them.
Josephine and her other siblings were set to drop out until her mother learned about Bridge International Academies. After getting more information about the school, she enrolled Josephine and her siblings at Bridge Ongata Rongai.
Before joining Bridge, Josephine often switched schools due to fluctuating tuition fees and her family circumstances.
She found a new experience at Bridge as she had teachers who were supportive and committed to ensuring she succeeds in her studies.
This boosted her confidence which eventually helped her perform well in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in 2015. She scored 381 marks out of 500.
With the marks, 14-year-old Josephine hoped to get a place in a national school in Kenya but she heard of a scholarship opportunity for a high school in the US. She decided to go for it and luckily, her application was accepted.
“The chance to study in a US high school was one of the biggest breaks of my life; it came with many life-changing possibilities for someone like me. It gave me the opportunity to really learn about myself, how to be independent, and meet people from every single part of the world! Most importantly, it gave me the chance to have a really great high school education. It was amazing studying at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee High,” says Josephine.
Four years later, she graduated from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and assumed she would return to Kenya for her university education.
But she heard of scholarship opportunities for universities in the US and decided to apply. She was lucky again.
Josephine was in September this year admitted to Presbyterian College, in South Carolina. She is currently taking classes that will prepare her to study medicine.
“I believe in hard work. And I know I am focused and determined enough when I decide to achieve something. Most importantly, I am down-to-earth and always ready to accept feedback so I can continue to improve,” she says.
“I am focused on becoming a doctor and I’m on a pre-med track in college right now. But, as I learn more I have become more interested in public health and the idea of improving public health systems around the world and opening up the kind of healthcare people can receive.”
“It all seemed impossible in the middle of my primary years; when my family was having to make tough decisions and my parents were struggling. But what kept me going was hope. I didn’t want to give up.”