Two Studio Samuel 2016 Graduates Are College Bound!
Studio Samuel student, M, will board a plane at the end of this month to spend a week in South Korea where she’ll tour universities, meet school staff and begin selecting her major. She’ll even meet the mayor! When returning to Ethiopia, alongside her Studio Samuel advisors and her teachers, M will begin mapping out her college-prep curriculum for her final two years of secondary school in Ethiopia. Course selections will be based on the requirements of her future Alma mater in South Korea and where she’ll return upon graduation from secondary school.
This 15 year old is one of only three winners from Ethiopia, from over 1,000 entries, to receive a full scholarship upon graduation of secondary school in 2018. M was nominated by her teachers for excellence in academics, behavior and leadership. She humbly accepted the distinguished award by noting her experience in Studio Samuel’s life skills program, Training for Tomorrow.
“I’ve always felt alone because since I was a little girl I had no family after my parents died from AIDS. Studio Samuel became my family and taught me what I need to grow and live on my own. I was very shy before. I feel stronger now because I know I am important.” ~ M.
Our second college bound student is Nahome, who is 18 years old and in grade 12. She was recently notified that she passed the National Exam (which is no easy feat) and will enter the University of Gondar in Fall 2017. Nahome also lost both parents to AIDS at a young age and now lives with her older sister in extreme poverty (averaging < $2/day). She’s the first in her extended family to take the National Exam and upon passing, is still overcome with various emotions since receiving the news she’ll soon leave her community to begin her college career.
Nahome excels in Training for Tomorrow’s mentoring initiative and can always be found in the library, where she spent much time preparing for the National Exam. She plans to study to become a teacher.
To say we’re proud of what these young women are accomplishing is an understatement. Since receiving news that not one, but TWO girls in our first graduating class are headed to university, our team has been over the moon! I don’t think the girls fully realize what just happened to their lives. They’re on a new trajectory. This is what it means to break your poverty cycle. They did it.
* To protect our students’ privacy, names have been changed and all images not shared.