Undergraduate Scholars

Undergraduate Cohort 5 (2017)

  • Louloua Ashikhusein Waliji

    Faculty of Science

    Despite having to adjust her lifestyle significantly since being faced with some sudden financial hardships, Louloua has thrived in the rigorous International Baccalaureate Program at Aga Khan Mzizima Secondary School in Tanzania. With aspirations to work in the field of Microbiology, Louloua has excelled in her courses in Math, Chemistry, and Biology.
    Louloua is also very involved outside the classroom as well, often taking up leadership positions. Her involvements include working as the Editor in Chief of the Yearbook committee, a member of the Academic Committee of her Student Council, and as the Director of the International Lions Committee where she organizes activities for people of underprivileged backgrounds.

    Through her Bachelor’s degree in Science, Louloua hopes to study Microbiology and Immunology to eventually move on to a career as a Microbiologist specializing in the development of vaccinations in Tanzania. Envisioning herself working alongside the Ministry of Health, she hopes to contribute to making a difference in the lives of those who need treatment and should be able to receive it.

  • Mathew Bushuru

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Hailing from the rural town of Kitale, Mathew Bushuru joined Alliance High School (AHS) as the top student from his rural district. and was awarded the “Best Student in Physics Category” in high school and also recognized on a global scale through the “Techno Mediatek Everyday Genius Competition” where his project was selected among five global finalists.

    After witnessing the extreme violence between ethnic communities after an election result in 2007, in order to ease tensions, Mathew founded the Peace Club at his local high school. Through this club he encouraged peaceful relations among Kenyans of different ethnic communities and as secretary general of the club he worked to “empower club members to promote peace in the day to day activities through word and action.” Looking at his rural home in Kitale, Mathew is concerned about the poor living conditions and the unsustainable use of dried maize cobs, firewood and dried maize stalks to provide energy. Through his degree in engineering at UBC, Mathew hopes to gain the knowledge and skill to create healthier and sustainable sources of energy for people in his community, as well as acquiring resources that will enable him to promote peace in his society.

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  • Brandon Bwanakocha

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Referring to himself as the “tenacious and unstoppable African honey badger” when reflecting on his determination to overcome financial obstacles when his sponsored funding was cut, Brandon is recognized by his teachers and counsellors as a “bright, determined, and hardworking young man”. Brandon excelled in his academics and consistently achieved top grades. His achievements were also recognized nationally as one of 35 students who were selected into the United States Student Achievers Program (USAP). Outside of his work and studies, Brandon spends his time volunteering at the Chiedza Child Care Center where volunteers to teach Chess to orphaned and economically disadvantaged children.

    Concerned by the inefficiencies of power in his country, through his study of electrical engineering at UBC, he hopes to eventually learn of power systems designing to create inexpensive and more efficient ways to generate and transmit electricity in Zimbabwe.

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  • Abenezer Chane

    Faculty of Science

    During high school, he excelled in the majority of his academic subjects. Apart from his studies Abenezer is a natural leader in his community, spending his time tutoring students in math. This community service was recognized, and he has been awarded two gold medals for his achievements in math and tutoring others. Based on his interest in online activism and federalism, Abenezer is described an effective organizer and one with initiative. At his church, Abenezer has provided lectures to his community on how to safely use the internet and the most effective uses of the web.

    Teaching himself the basics of Python and working at an internet café on the weekends, expanding his knowledge and skills has given him more confidence and hope. Through his studies of Computer Science at UBC, he hopes to make computers more accessible and approachable for Ethiopians by expanding innovations to meet local necessities. In particular, he hopes to include local languages in systems and tailor successful projects to Ethiopian needs.

  • Ahmed Faiz Hassan Hussein

    Faculty of Arts

    Growing up in Nairobi, Ahmed stepped out of his comfort zone and seized a range of opportunities available at a United World College, after successfully applying to join the UWC Adriatic in Italy in 2015.  During his time in Nairobi, he was a part of various extra-curricular activities taking up roles such as the chair for the East African MUN for four years, school prefect, and a scout leader and St. John’s Ambulance First Aider.

    Ahmed is highly ambitious and motivated, and dreams of building a better Kenya. Concerned about corruption and poor leadership in his country, he hopes his education at UBC will allow him to gain skills to improve Kenya and lead the Kenyan people. With his degree in Economics, he specifically hopes to understand the economic situation in Kenya, and to become more aware of how the world works.

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  • Cecilia Leah Wangui Kibe

    Faculty of Arts

    Coming from a difficult financial circumstances and recognizing the obstacles being a woman in a patriarchal society, Cecilia Leah Wangui Kibe presents herself as a young, independent woman ready to take on challenges. After receiving a scholarship from the Akili Dada Organization to attend one of the top national schools, she demonstrated her academic strength by becoming the first female in the national examinations to receive the District’s Award in 2012.

    At UBC, Cecilia intends on pursuing a degree in Political Science. Passionate about equal rights and opportunities, and equal division of labor, she explains that with her degree she is “urged to make policies that would ensure minorities are not left behind.” Cecilia is looking forward to gaining the knowledge and skill that will help her with the know-how of having a greater impact in her community in Nairobi and her home village in Nyandarua.

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  • Melisa Mumbi Kimwere

    Faculty of Science

    Melisa stands out as a leader who has a “sense of maturity above her peers, mindfulness and a deep capacity for empathy.” Chosen as one of the two Peer Counselors assigned to each class in addition to her capacity as House Prefect all throughout her three years at her high school, her “self-discipline and her influence on peers” has been appreciated by many. Outside of school she has also been involved as a member of the Red Cross where she has gained greater understanding of the spirit of unity and service.

    Through her degree in the Sciences at UBC, she hopes to study Biochemistry to solve some of the questions and problems of her country in Kenya. In particular, she is motivated to understand the workings of human body to help those with autism like her sister. She hopes to contribute to the health sector of her country to improve the health products and to ensure to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

  • Moses Kirathe

    Sauder School of Business

    At his school at St. Mary’s Secondary School, he was one of the top performers in his classes, achieving the Top Achievers Award for scoring an A average in the Kenya National Exams, and recognized by his teachers for his engaged participation in class. Moses involved himself in sports and extracurriculars as well, participating in tournaments in table tennis and founding a roller skaters club called “Limuru Roller Skaters Club” where they practice on the weekends.

    As an emerging entrepreneur, Moses sees the many ways for IT to improve the lives of people in his country. Highlighting the inefficiencies in business operations in his country, he hopes his degree in Business at UBC will help him to develop IT solutions that will allow automation of simple tasks to help the growth of small and medium enterprises. He also envisions an online education platform that will allow better accessibility to education and help reduce unemployment among youth. So far he has developed “Afriemerge”, a medical mobile application that enables users to learn basic first aid skills.

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  • Kumbirai (Trish) Kujeke

    Faculty of Science

    Kumbirai, or Trish as she is fondly called, is described as a “compassionate, intelligent, self-motivated, and focused young lady.” In 2015, as a result of her strong performance in the sciences and math, Trish was nominated by the Principal to attend WiSci Girls STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths)—a girls camp about leadership and advocacy in the STEAM field for young woman. While she is an outstanding student in the classroom, her engagements are also well recognized in her extra-curriculars. She dedicates her time to helping the community through working with four other students to start initiatives such as her fashion enterprise to employ the less privileged youths with vocational skills in sewing or visiting the orphanage once a week to help with the children’s homework.

    Through her Science degree at UBC, Trish hopes to study pharmacology to help address critical problems in Africa such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Specifically, she is concerned about the drug synthesis industry in Zimbabwe, and hopes to attain the knowledge and skills which she can share with other Zimbabweans with similar interests.

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  • Keitumetse Malatsi

    Faculty of Science

    At her high school at the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ), Keitu emerged as a very strong leader and motivator, described as “intelligent, talented, passionate, outgoing and [a] delightful young woman”. As a prominent role-model and activist among the student population, she has been involved and thoroughly engaged in a number of humanitarian initiatives which demonstrate her mature qualities. These range from taking on the responsibility of the Co-Deputy Secretary General of the Johannesburg Model United Nations (JOMUN), hosting a Global Issues Service Summit (GISS) for the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA), Co-President of the Human Rights Advocacy group, and taking on President of Sponsorship of the South African Service Summit for Youth (SASSY). She is also an accomplished singer and performer, acting in musicals and Open Mic, and taking the front of line of her cheer squad during sporting events.

    As her middle name symbolizes, Keitu is the “hope” to her family, peers and teachers for a better South Africa. Through her studies at UBC in English and Biology, she hopes to utilize her skill in writing to become a Noble laureate writer on the pharmaceutical research she wants to do on medication used for cancer. Keitu is deeply passionate about social justice issues, and dreams to see the success of African women succeeding in the future.

  • Yolanda Masacha

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Yolanda attended the Harare International School as a scholarship student. She has excelled in this program demonstrated by numerous awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in her senior year, and claimed by her IB Math teacher as one of the top 5% students they have taught. She has contributed significantly in a variety of service projects in her community through different organizations to teaching and assisting children who have been orphaned or of HIV/AIDS.

    Pursing a degree in Applied Biology at UBC, Yolanda is passionate about the development of her country of Zimbabwe and she wishes to “work in health and helping”. While she is interested in studying medicine, Yolanda also has a broad range of interests including her concern for the conservation of the environment. She hopes her degree will help her to give back to her community through “initiating programs for rural development particularly in health care access, nutrition education to eradicate poverty and imparting sustainable use of the environment and agricultural methods.”

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  • Arlena Musinga

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Actively creating opportunities for herself, she joined Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga School for her Advanced Levels on a two-year bursary that recognized her exceptional academic performance in her Ordinary Levels. She has achieved numerous awards in a variety of subjects, in particular she demonstrates strengths in mathematics as she received first place in the National Mathematics Contest in 2013.

    Concerned about the issues of education especially for young girls, since completing her A-Levels in 2014, Arlena has been involved volunteering at Support Girl Child Education Foundation helping to support and mentor young girls to continue their education. As the first girl to have completed her Advanced Levels successfully from her village, she works as a motivational speaker and as a role-model to inspire youth in her rural village. Through studying engineering at UBC, she hopes to improve and innovate the bridge and dam construction in Uganda. She envisions that her degree will allow her to explore the opportunities to encourage extension of clean water in the rural areas through advanced water treatment and water supply and distribution measures.

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  • M. Fred Mutangana

    Faculty of Forestry

    Described as “intellectually gifted and proactive”, M. Fred has lifted himself from a difficult upbringing and has thrived in his academics and his community involvements at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda. He ranked first out of 16 students in his combination of Math, Physics, and Computer Science, and earned the second highest possible score on Rwanda’s high school graduation test.

    Realizing his weakness in English, he founded the debate club at his school as a way for him to practice his English skills, and helping his peers to improve as well. His initiative has proven to be successful, as his team has developed into confident English speakers winning the 2015 East African Debate Championship. Demonstrating his qualities as a leader, M. Fred has also been involved in community initiatives as Secretary of Gender in his Student Government as well as a participant in community service programs to make education more accessible to poor youths and female students. With his Bachelor’s degree at UBC, M.Fred hopes to continue to make a difference in people’s lives; to help the vulnerable through infrastructural restructuring that will allow them to access various services such as education and employment.

  • Fainess Mwakisimba

    Faculty of Science

    Growing up in Tanzania in a strong traditional community, and recently graduated from a very multi-cultural boarding school at UWC Robert Bosch (RB) College in Frankfurt, Germany, Fainess is recognized by all of her teachers as a “responsible, realistic, mature, disciplined and appreciative” student. Following her passion for empowering young girls, she co-founded a small organization called “Child Vision Foundation” where she met up with children from all over Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania to teach them how to read and write and encourage them to continue their studies. She carried over her passion for education and helping young students even in Germany, where she volunteered her time at “Kick of Girls”, a soccer activity with refugee girls.

    Through her Bachelor’s degree at UBC, Fainess hopes to build a career in a field that would help with women empowerment in Tanzania and around Africa. Coming from a family where the expectation for a girl was limited to early marriage, she states that “I would like to see women go around exploring the world and also having and creating ambitions,” and that she “can be an example to the girls in [her] country.”

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  • Jovin Shumbusho

    Faculty of Arts

    Joining one of the top elite schools in Tanzania on a full scholarship for the two year International ‘A’ Level Program at Haven of Peace Academy (HOPAC), Jovin has thrived as one of the top scholarship students HOPAC has ever accepted. Especially strong in Math, Jovin has achieved numerous academic awards, most notably achieving the highest mark in the world in AS Business in the Cambridge International Examinations.

    Jovin took advantage of the opportunities at HOPAC to explore ways to serve others. He took leadership in a wide-range of extra-curricular and community service activities such as Class Representative for his student council, Club Leader of Rotary International Club, a Teacher at a local government school, and helping and interacting with young Tanzanian men at Changamoto Rehabilitation Centre who struggle with drug addiction and dependency issues. Jovin envisions his degree at UBC will “enable [him] to pursue a career working closely with Tanzania’s government as a future policymaker.” He hopes to be equipped with the knowledge and experience to “develop the mindset of a committed leader, and positively impacting global communities…in developing countries like [his] own”.

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  • Almahdi (Siraj) Sirat

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Attending Kisima Mixed Secondary School on a full scholarship, Siraj is described as a “highly self-motivated student with high intellect”. Transitioning from a small rural community to an ethnically and culturally diverse, Kisima Mixed Secondary School, he has demonstrated his ability to adapt and respect diverse environments. Growing up in a rural pastoralist community of Somali origin following Islam, a minority religion in Kenya, Siraj is especially aware of the experiences of marginalization and discrimination. To address these issues, he is an active community member, participating in youth groups to support minority communities that are vulnerable to poverty and discrimination.

    Excelling in Mathematics and Sciences during high school, Siraj will be studying Applied Science at UBC. He hopes his degree in this subject will empower him the knowledge to find solutions for the poor governance and leadership in his country. He envisions himself working side by side with decision makers to represent his community and contribute towards a more secure future for marginalized and minority communities.

  • Enia Sitole

    Faculty of Arts

    Coming from a financially difficult background, Enia is a strongminded young woman, determined to overcome poverty and her conditions. She was the top student in her Primary School for 5 consecutive years, until she was awarded a scholarship to attend Secondary School at Willow International School. She continued to succeed in her academics, graduating in the top three students amongst the whole school and ranked as the top student in Social Sciences. She is also an entrepreneur and leader in her community, where she has initiated several projects on her own. This includes the Common Literacy Project where she teaches students in her community from grades 1 to 5 to read and write outside of school hours. During her gap year she started an English Club for Girls, to empower young women to voice their opinion and realize their talents at the American Cultural Centre. Apart from her community contributions, Enia is also an artist, designing clothes and drawing people, or writing songs.

    For her future, Enia aspires to become a social entrepreneur, establishing businesses in sectors ranging from fashion, music and performing arts to agriculture and food production. She hopes to achieve this goal through her studies in International Relations at UBC, where she can combine her areas of interest through interdisciplinary studies.

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  • Gretha Teta

    Faculty of Forestry

    Gretha has been described as “talented, driven, and spirited young woman”. As the “Most Outstanding Student in Geography” in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and recognized by her physics teacher as among the top three Physics students in her grade, she maintained an exceptional academic performance throughout high school. Gretha is a well-rounded student, involved in a wide-range of activities outside the classroom. She is a confident leader on the basketball court, a sport she has been involved in since primary.

    Having served Environmental Prefect in 2015, and attending Mining Summer Program in South Dakota School of Mines in 2016, Gretha demonstrates a very deep concern and passion to improve the environmental conditions of her country. She is particularly concerned about issues to do with conservation as she highlights the poor conservation strategies for the rich forests of Nyungwe and Gishwati in Rwanda. She hopes through her Natural Resources Conservation degree at UBC, she will gain the skills to find a solution to Rwanda’s deforestation and conservation issues.

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  • Chazizila Zulu

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Chazizila was highly involved in extracurricular activities and contributions to his high school, exhibiting his leadership potential throughout. Helping found the Mathematics Club, he provided mentorship and tutoring to encourage students to cultivate interest in mathematics. Even after graduation, Chazizila continues to demonstrate his leadership and mentorship in the community, as he volunteered at a local hospital where he counseled TB patients and informed patients from low-income households about contagious diseases such as Cholera and Malaria.

    With his mechanical engineering degree from UBC, Chazizila envisions a goal of being able to help lift his home country, Zambia, out of poverty by improving the agricultural sector and the labour efficiencies of small scale farmers. He draws a future such in which he can design irrigation systems that sustainably exploit the water resources available and to improve the farming techniques of small-scale farmers in order to generate more profit.

  • Amos Wambia

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Hailing from the district of Yala, Kenya and growing up in the slums of Kibera, Amos has emerged as a motivator and a talented academic among the busy bustle of Nairobi. When given the chance to speak at a Post-Election Violence Meeting, Amos, who was still in primary school, confidently delivered a speech that had people “spellbound”, including the counselor and President Mwai Kibaki—the President of Kenya at the time. Since this first demonstration of leadership, Amos continued to be a leader and innovator, participating in a wide range of activities from co-founding a health startup, being crowned the CEO of the Junior Achievement Club, soliciting funds from alumni to renovate the dorm recreation room, and advocating for equal gender representation in the country at Constituency Development fund committees.

    Amos demonstrates a deep passion for physics. He has a clear ambition, as he states, “I dream of working Scientific Research Labs and being a part of the generation that will bring technological stability in Africa”. He hopes his education at UBC will expand his opportunities to research in energy, and to deliver a brighter future in Kenya.

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Undergraduate Cohort 4 (2016)

  • Racheal Ayugi

    Faculty of Arts

    Raised in the crossroads as a woman standing for her gender’s humanity in a deeply patriarchal society, Rachael is constantly taught that the empowerment of women is “un-African” and sometimes “un-Christian”.  She strives to not only challenge the status quo but to fight for both the liberation of females, as well as the equality of each individual. This passion has driven her to co-find a service group called “La Ninya”, which provides girls in Mombasa with the necessary skills to impart change in their community. In their short three years since establishment, her group has been able to open three forums within local schools. Using her interest in understanding fiscal and monetary policies, Rachael wants to apply her future economics degree and work with the Kenyan government to reduce the country’s trade deficit. She believes the increased reliance on imports is the main reason Kenya is at its lowest exchange rate to date, and wants to use her degree to stabilize and grow their economy.

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  • Trevor Gitonga

    Faculty of Arts

    Although his family has struggled greatly, Trevor’s relentless pursuit for academic excellence has seen him emerging at the top every class, winning numerous awards including a full tuition and boarding scholarship to Brookhouse School. He believes in asking questions and testing assumptions and is unafraid to challenge the norm or stand alone for trying to do the seemingly impossible. He is also a professional actor and gifted writer and has published and presented original works at various poetry speaking competitions on topics like corruption and homosexuality.
    His fascination with the simplest ideas in brain cognition, strategic decision making in game theory and artificial intelligence in computer science is what drives his interest in mathematics. He believes that “mathematicians, with their logical, analytical and numerical skills are the best placed to help alleviate Kenya’s dire situation.” Therefore, he hopes to pursue a degree at UBC and contribute towards a variety of areas such as mathematical modeling in biology to help find solutions for diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria.

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  • Sia Jan-Abu

    Faculty of Science

    Originally from Sierra Leone, Sia was selected out of 1000 applicants to join the United World College (UWC) of South East Asia on a full scholarship. Since moving to UWCSEA, Sia is described as a student who has a broad international understanding, who celebrates differences and diversity, is compassionate and has a strong sense of personal responsibility. As a strong believer in the power of education, one of Sia’s goals is to find solutions to improve the education system in her home country. She recognizes that students are unable to complete or access quality education, which she believes translates to high levels of unemployment and poverty. While it will not be an easy task, Sia is confident that she’ll meet like-minded people at UBC, who share the same vision for Sierra Leone and together will work relentlessly to improve the education system for future generations.

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  • Michael Kosgei

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Michael is passionate about the community he was raised in, and wants to see it grow to the potential he believes it has. His passion is exuded in the hours he has spent volunteering as an English teacher, mentoring orphaned children and assisting in a home for the deaf. Similar to his idol Nelson Mandela, Michael thrives to replace self-interest with group interest, and uses giving back to the community as his core aspiration.

    Michael has found the possibility of community development in the waterfalls near his home in Kenya. He believes that generating electricity with water gushing through power turbines, and energy harvested from the sun is what Kenya needs to look towards to solve their electricity problem. Michael poetically advocates that the light is not only needed as a source of energy, but also as a source of empowerment. With his education at UBC, Michael wants to start an NGO that builds the educational foundation in local communities to improve infrastructure, democracy and solve unemployment in the long-run.

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  • Sabeeha Manji

    Faculty of Arts

    Sabeeha is described as a “multi-dimensional and all-rounded student who performs a multiplicity of tasks with ease”. Her passion for people and community stems from her inspiration, the Aga Khan, a philanthropist and spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims. She strongly believes that coming to UBC will enrich her perception of pluralism. Her drive to be active and cognizant of what she could do to make a difference began with the research she conducted with the Global Encounters International Program. Not only did she come out of this program with a full-merit scholarship, she also found a new personal interest in women’s issues in Kenya.

    She has found the importance of humanitarian and political rights, and hopes to explore her passion of world affairs and foreign policies with her degree in International Relations. Her ultimate goal is to dedicate her life to international relations, and eventually humanitarian law, to develop institutions in her home country of Kenya.

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  • Luizer Njoki Mburu

    Faculty of Science

    Njoki was born and raised (up to the age of 8) in Ol Rongai village in Nakuru, Kenya. Having lived on her grandparents’ farmland, Njoki came to greatly value land, food systems and community engagement. Even after moving to the city, her passion for the conservation and management of the environment was maintained through participation in environmental project designs such as the annual Innovate Kenya Project Innovation Challenge where she and her teammates were one of nine nation-wide finalists. Throughout Njoki’s time at Precious Blood Secondary School in Nairobi, she was keen on involving herself in clubs such as the Model United Nations where she wrote United-Nations-format resolutions and debated in international gatherings as part of the Ecological Committee. Earning a scholarship from the Robert Bosch Foundation, Njoki attended UWC Robert Bosch College in Freiburg, Germany where she was immersed in not only pursuing her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma but also in various environmental initiatives such as the annual Convention of Environmental Laureates by the European Environment Foundation. Njoki’s journey at UBC started off with a plan to major in Environmental Science but has ended up with her pursuing Sustainable Development. She aspires to work collaboratively with indigenous communities throughout Sub-Sahara Africa and with intergovernmental and governmental bodies in the creation and successful implementation of Development & Environmental Management Policies.

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  • Shinina Muthiora

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Shinina hopes to create an affordable and efficient healthcare system to help the economically disadvantaged people who don’t have the financial means to access quality healthcare. As an advocate for gender equality, Shinina launched a mentorship program for an all-female school where she shared effective study strategies in preparation for the national level exams in mathematics and physics. She refuses to believe that only males can succeed in the sciences and hopes to break this common notion in Kenya and Africa that engineering is an industry only for males.

    Passionate in improving the healthcare system in Kenya, Shinina hopes to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering so she may one day be part of the designing, manufacturing and maintenance of biomedical equipment in hospitals. Shinina envisions a future of better and greater access to healthcare, especially in rural areas of Kenya and hopes to play an active role in the implementation of various medical techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • Emma-Claire Njoki

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Emma-Claire is someone who strongly values persistence and perseverance, as her idol Nelson Mandela did. As Mandela says “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have made it or lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we led”. Emma-Claire similarly, wants to use this mindset to make a difference in the economic and community life of her country. She thrives not only to bring back her education, but to inspire others to help her in her journey towards transforming Cameroon.

    Emma-Claire believes that her degree in Chemical Engineering will help improve the design process and procedure of transforming and transporting materials in her country. Cameroon is heavily dependent on the synthesis and process of chemicals and materials and with her education at UBC, Emma-Claire wants to see a real take-off in the industrialization of Cameroon.

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  • Ashley Nyangani

    Faculty of Arts

    Ashley  wishes to be strong and unwavering in her beliefs, despite the criticism and oppression that women face in her community and country. Ashley aspires to be a fearless individual and hopes to address issues on early child marriage, gender-based violence and gender inequality in the workforce and government.
    When Ashley’s not on the forefront fighting for women’s rights, she can be found raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, a disease that claimed the lives of her parents and grandfather. She sees it as a personal responsibility to share her story, however difficult it is, to educate her peers and encourage conversation.

    Having almost been married off at a young age, Ashley recognizes the gender-based issues that young girls and women face day-to-day in communities in Zimbabwe and Africa. Traditional customs and beliefs that see males in school and females at home or married off to suitors at an early age are issues that Ashley wishes to address. She hopes to pursue a UBC degree in social sciences so she may become a voice for the voiceless and stand for social justice.

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  • Alvin Orori

    Faculty of Arts

    Born and raised in the Kisii Highlands of Kenya, Alvin has a strong desire to study and practice in the diverse field of economics. Alvin, known for his honesty, calmness and kindness, aspires to confront the real problems, such as corruption, poverty and illiteracy, in Kenya.

    Alvin wishes to pursue a degree in Economics to equip him with the knowledge of how to use resources in his village and Kenya more efficiently. He hopes to work in the agricultural sector to find ways to economically benefit the farmers in his country, who have been blessed with fertile soils and rainfall throughout the year. Alvin strongly believes that the leadership qualities he will learn through the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will help him become the leader he wants to be for his village and his country. He intends on changing his society, one person at a time, starting with himself.

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  • Judith Otiti

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Hailing from Kokolo, a small village in Northern Uganda, Judith is the fifth born of eight children and is the second child to pursue a university degree. Her academic excellence and involvement in her community earned her a full scholarship to the International School of Uganda (ISU).  At ISU, Judith excelled and impressed her teachers with her level of maturity and her seamless transition into a rigorous IB curriculum.  As an advocate for human rights, she presented on issues affecting girls in Uganda such as child marriage, lack of educational opportunities and gender inequality at a meeting attended by members of the United Nations, the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Health.
    Judith has seen and personally experienced what it means to come from a society where basic needs are not met. She is especially passionate about the health care system and envisions a future where remote communities like hers will gain greater access to higher quality health services. She hopes to pursue a degree in Food, Nutrition and Health, which will equip her with the knowledge and the tools to realize her goals.

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  • Edward Ssebuliba

    Faculty of Science

    Edward believes that if he wants to see change in Uganda and in Africa as a whole, he will have to initiate it. He has worked tirelessly in his community to improve its conditions. Edward has worked with community schools to teach the children English, Math and basic Science, whilst learning how to clone computers and create interfaces to repair old computers.

    At UBC, Edward is looking to ultimately pursue a career in health or medical sciences. He believes that there are many curable diseases in Uganda that aren’t being treated properly due to the lack of education and health care. He intends on reducing the doctor-patient ratio, and providing access to treatment and decent medical care in remote places in Uganda. Additionally, he hopes that by studying biochemistry, he will improve his analytical skills to eventually identify the causes of various diseases in his country. His nominators are sure that he will bring leadership and academic prowess to our community, and back to Africa upon his return.

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  • Titani Sumasi

    Faculty of Science

    Titani sees herself giving back to the UBC and Vancouver community through dedicating herself to student organizations that engage in volunteer work for education or health initiatives whilst on campus. Eventually when she returns to Zambia, she hopes to build off the Kucetekela Foundation to expand scholarships for students outside of Lusaka, as she wants to create leaders all over Zambia.

    Titani found her passion in the health sector when she volunteered at compound clinics and saw the many challenges that were being faced. The lack of adequate medical personnel often led to premature deaths, and improper education led to breakouts of diseases like typhoid. Titani hopes that a Bachelor’s degree in Science will give her the necessary knowledge to educate her community on preventable diseases and how they can be treated. She eventually hopes to attend medical school, where she dreams of specializing in cardiovascular surgery. With this she hopes to solve the lack of specialist treatments available in Zambia, and treat patients in need in her home country.

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  • Brendon Tankwa

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Despite coming from a family that has faced significant hardships, Brendon has an undying thirst for knowledge and goes out of his way to seek opportunities that would help him grow intellectually. He possesses a genuine zeal for learning and is especially gifted in mathematics, as demonstrated by his first place performance at the National Mathematics Olympiad in 2015. Brendon is determined to use his academic talent to its fullest potential by making the world a better place. His teachers at Petra High School praise him for his selflessness and giving heart and are confident that he will he use his gift to help change Zimbabwe and Africa for the better.
    Brendon’s goal to become an electrical engineer will allow him to realize his vision for his home country of Zimbabwe. He hopes to play an active role in the emerging development of clean electrical energy, particularly in the areas of generation and conservation, to increase productivity of Zimbabwean industries and advance its economy. He is keen to gain expert knowledge at UBC, access the top research facilities and find the energy solutions that will aid Zimbabwe and other countries alike.

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  • Gisele Umuhoza

    Faculty of Forestry

    Academically, Gisele is a top student who is always challenging herself intellectually by taking and excelling in the hardest combination of courses. In fact, in her senior year, Gisele and two other classmates initiated a project, which saw the installation of a solar-powered irrigation system on their school farm to help increase food production and income in a sustainable and cost-effective way. Equally as important to Gisele is her involvement with the Gashora Health Centre. She was immediately captivated by the stories she heard from the women who had suffered domestic abuse and was determined to take action. Having practiced karate for numerous years, Gisele started a karate club in the hope that it will empower women to stand together against violence. She believes that change can be made as long as we all stand as one and she plans to incorporate this way of life at UBC. With her deep interest for sustainability and renewable energy resources, Gisele hopes to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Conservation at UBC and envisions a future where Rwanda will be able to manage and effectively use sustainable environmental resources to advance the country’s economy.

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  • Vanina Umutako

    Faculty of Arts

    Vanina is described as an outstanding learner who exhibits continuous courage and zeal to take on academic challenges. When faced with difficult concepts, she tirelessly seeks understanding by asking difficult questions and applying it to real life situations.  Stemming from a deep interest in software programming, Vanina founded the Coding Club at her high school, where she partnered with various technology companies and professionals to come and share their expertise.  Naturally, her love for computer science saw her emerge at the top of the class. When she’s not cracking codes and developing software programs, Vanina can be found volunteering with the Gashora Health Centre and Girl Up, a UN based organization which aims to empower girls. Passionate about computer science and the development of her home country, Vanina envisions a future where disadvantaged students will be able to access learning resources and information such as textbooks on mobile phones and home computers. She believes that a degree in computer science will equip her with the necessary skills to advance the technology industry in Rwanda, and allow her to build a software application to make educational resources more accessible. Vanina will represent Rwanda most proudly by promoting diversity and raising awareness for issues and opportunities in Africa during her time at UBC.

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Undergraduate Cohort 3 (2015)

  • One of our Cohort 3 scholars, Bwalya Kasanda, speaking at our Scholars Reception in September 2016.

  • Cassandra Adjetey

    Faculty of Arts

    Above all else, Cassandra is a firm believer in the power of hope. She strives to be a beacon of hope for those who have lost it. She refuses to acknowledge the word “impossible”. As a top student in her class, she was elected prefect and was awarded a government bursary scholarship. Cassandra has been involved in a broad range of activities such as the Future Leaders Club and was a prominent member of the French Club, a singer and aspiring pianist at The Apostolic Church Ghana and a volunteer of the Reach Out Society. Cassandra’s community service and philanthropic efforts are a true testament to her desire to provide hope for those around her. Cassandra wants to use her interest and aptitude for mathematics, data analysis and economics to provide constructive financial education to the population of Ghana. She acknowledges the inevitable challenges of pursuing a career as an actuary in Ghana due to traditionalist mindsets and lack of demand. However, it is her wish to offer advice and support to people of all demographics with the hope that they can grow businesses, enjoy peace of mind and retire with confidence.

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  • Anagabah Sally Asu

    Faculty of Forestry

    For Sally, the transition from her school in Cameroon to the world renowned African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa was a monumental leap in her academic journey. The combination of Sally’s strong sense of social awareness and natural talent for studying the sciences has shaped her into a uniquely insightful student – something that is greatly exemplified by her leadership at Agrinovation, a social enterprise aimed at providing healthy and organically grown produce to the community. Outside the classroom, Sally was a star middle blocker on her competitive volleyball team at the ALA. Sally has set tremendous goals for her country and for herself. She plans on combining her passion for change with the technical training she will receive at UBC to combat hunger, disease and improve life expectancy in her community. Her mission is to eventually build at least fifty five well-equipped research laboratories in Africa to conduct research on agriculture and pandemic research. Currently enrolled into UBC’s prestigious Faculty of Forestry, she hopes to gain technical skills that will enable her better manage forest resources back in her home country and across the world. She is also keen on the issue of sustainability and how managing resources effectively could have a tremendous impact on climate change. Her mission is to eventually set-up well-equipped labs in forest rich areas around Africa where good forest practices can be prototyped and then adapted widely.

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  • Lemlem Taye Degefie

    Faculty of Science

    Lemlem is both a passionate advocate and grateful beneficiary of the power of education. Her tenacity for learning paid off when she was awarded a scholarship to study at Sanford International School, where she became a top student. Lemlem ranked in the top three students at her school; and continued to pour her entirety into her studies despite having to brave a two hour commute each day in addition to her busy schoolwork schedule. Teachers have commended Lemlem for her immense talent for science and mathematics and have remarked her incredible work ethic. Lemlem also has been selected as one of the Yale Young African scholar to attend a high-intensity academic and leadership program designed for African students. Receiving this scholarship was the most meaningful inspirational moment she had where she attended different workshops, discussion lessons and seminars about issues that Africa is facing such as effect of GMO food and Foreign Aid in Africa. Lemlem was also involved with the Society for Women and Aids in Africa, as well as the Gender Club at her school. She is passionate about empowering and educating women about rights, health and freedom. Lemlem is excited to be studying Science at UBC. She hopes to continue advocating education, while directing her studies towards health, disease and medicine. Lemlem’s personal goal is to raise awareness in society to address issues in her home country of Ethiopia, like AIDS research, mortality rate, poverty and job creation.

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  • Mariam Eji-Lasisi

    Faculty of Science

    Despite facing a number of financial and struggles throughout her schooling, Mariam’s goals for academic excellence and community service are crystal clear. Overcoming both financial and familial obstacles, Mariam earned a scholarship to study at Corona Secondary School for her brilliance and spirit. In the classroom, Mariam performed at an extremely high level, winning awards for her achievements in Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Information Technology.  Before coming to UBC, Mariam was involved in her school’s social initiative: Challenge 2020, a way for young individuals to identify and address socio-economic and environmental issues in the community. Mariam organized educational seminars and presented research about sustainability, global warming and the government’s role in these issues. A Bachelor of Science degree will provide Mariam with the knowledge and skillset to pursue further studies – and eventually a career – in health and medicine. Mariam’s longtime goal is to open clinics that provide adequate healthcare for her community. She recognizes a need for change in the health care system and strives to return home to be the catalyst of this change.

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  • Bwalya Kasanda

    Sauder School of Business 

    Bwalya earned scholarships from both The Kucetekela Foundation and Pestalozzi International Village and finished her IB Diploma in the United Kingdom at East Sussex Coast College Hastings. Bwalya has been noted as an insightful and conscientious student, achieving top grades in higher level English Literature.  Naturally, Bwalya’s strong yearning to fight for social justice has inspired her to volunteer for various organizations and causes. Bwalya has worked with the Kalikiliki Literacy Project where she taught over a hundred unschooled children basic Math, English and Science. Bwalya has also volunteered with Pestalozzi’s student program, AFRIKABA (an African- Caribbean integration organization) and the Centre for Infection Disease Research in Zambia.  Bwalya believes a degree in Commerce will equip her with the analytical, networking, communication and problem-solving skills that will be essential for implementing projects and initiatives to support and empower women in her country. She wishes to become involved in leadership of organizations that have helped her and people like her such as the Kucetekela Foundation.

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  • Brian Kiiza

    Faculty of Arts

    Brian’s academic career has been funded by a series of merit based scholarships; his work ethic and academic performance earned him a place at the International School of Uganda. Brian excelled at Chemistry and Mathematics, earning top marks for both these subjects while showing a keen interest in application and innovation. Brian also showed much interest in the realms of debate and public speaking through his involvement with the East Africa Model United Nations. He was chosen to attend a parliament meeting, where he presented a speech on the abhorrent issue of infant sacrifice, a cause for which he has shown passionate activism. Brian was a leader in a tree-planting initiative at his school, as well as a break-dancer and mural artist. Brian’s wish to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Economics is indicative of his desire to provide solutions and motivation for his community. He believes that development is possible through sound leadership, education and resource management. Brian will work to end the poverty cycle in Uganda by implementing strategies for energy conservation, agricultural innovation and sustainability.

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  • Protus Lang’at

    Faculty of Arts

    In the classroom, Protus has demonstrated great knowledge and promise in Sciences, Mathematics and Economics. He was given an opportunity to intern at Equity Bank-Kenya as a result of his extraordinary performance where he developed skills in economics, finance and  client relations in the work environment. As a result, Protus is deeply passionate about pursuing studies in economics. He was also an active participant in Freedom From Hunger Walk where he had the opportunity to fight chronic hunger in Kenya.  He mentored high school graduates at Equity African Leaders Program (EALP) before coming to UBC. It is Protus’ belief that underprivileged regions in Kenya do not lack potential, but rather people. He hopes to study micro-finance in order to devise long lasting solutions to poverty. He believes in using men and women to their fullest potential and reducing the trepidation and uncertainties of cash management and small businesses. He is also excited about the prospect of collaboration and recognizes the need for camaraderie and teamwork in a project like this.

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  • Tadiwanashe ‘Keith’ Macheka

    Faculty of Applied Science

    Keith earned a scholarship at the Harare International School to complete an IB Diploma. Keith has shown talent in multiple areas of academic study, earning praises for both his work in the sciences and humanities. Keith’s desire for community service exceeds the walls of his school. As a result of the family struggles in his adolescence, Keith was inspired to become a prominent member of the Interact Club, a local chapter of the Rotary Club. As treasurer, he took on the responsibility of financial allocation and leadership, and focused particularly on fundraising efforts and charity projects. A Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering will equip Keith with the skills to continue serving the people of his country. As a well-rounded individual, there is no doubt that Keith will take a cross-disciplinary, multi-faceted approach at addressing community issues such as hunger, shelter, medical services and economics.  Keith’s goal is to provide solutions for Zimbabwe to optimize their resources and make sustainable economic decisions that will benefit the land and people.

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  • Prudence Nakawooya

    Faculty of Applied Science

    In the classroom, Prudence has been praised and rewarded for her elite academic achievements. In addition to her prowess in physics and math, she has a special interest in finance and accounting studies. She has been known to take leadership in class discussions and assume the role of a mentor to her peers. Prudence was a leader in both the Writers Club and Science Club at her school. In addition to event coordination and financial planning, Prudence took the time to encourage fellow members of these groups to improve their skills. Prudence has served as a coordinator for the Young Christian Society which focused on outreach and service events such as educating and feeding children from underprivileged areas. Prudence believes that Civil Engineering will allow her to combine her academic interests with her vision for the community. She is determined to use her expertise to improve physical surroundings create opportunities for economic and social improvement in her home country. She is also focused on a goal to further her knowledge of financial management, an area of interest she also hopes to incorporate into her hopes for the Uganda’s future.

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  • Shazmeen Omar

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Throughout the completion of her IB Diploma, Shazmeen has excelled in Biology, earning top grades in the subject. Shazmeen also has a gift for Language, Composition and Literature and she is an avid debater and has been recognized as an outstanding public speaker. Beyond the realms of academia, Shazmeen has shown significant commitment to health and community related initiatives. She was he co-organizer of the “Fresh Juice for Fresh Paint” Campaign, an event at which she sold fresh juice to raise awareness and funds for the bad living conditions of orphanages around the city. Shazmeen was also a frequent volunteer at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute to assist kitchen staff in packing and delivering meals to patients. Shazmeen’s love for her community will be a driving force as she pursues her career in Health and Nutrition. Shazmeen wants to bring about change in neglected areas like her birthplace of Newala – a small district in south Tanzania – by creating awareness to help the locals understand the importance of a balanced diet. She envisions working in a medical institution, implementing nutritional education programs and working in the Ministry of Health of Tanzania to impact food laws.

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  • Agnes (Aggie) Ouko

    Faculty of Science

    Agnes has been praised for her intellectual curiosity and academic integrity and has excelled in a variety of subjects: English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Outside the classroom, Agnes served as a mentor with Wings to Fly, an organization which is part of the Equity Group Foundation. Agnes was inspired and motivated by her troubled past to provide academic and emotional support to those in difficult situations similar to her own. In addition, Agnes was a volunteer at her church and was involved with their outreach program for orphaned children with HIV/AIDS. Besides her volunteer endeavors, Agnes has shown interest and aptitude for extra-curricular science projects, athletics and environmental work. Agnes is well aware of Kenya’s challenges in the realm of technological development. She cites the 2013 election – which saw an attempted implantation of an electronic voting system – as a prime example of these challenges. Agnes hopes to use the expertise gained from a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science to move Kenya into the right direction. She plans to work for the Kenyan government to advocate and facilitate technological growth. She is excited at the opportunity to educate young computer scientists in Kenya and provide them with wholesome and applicable instruction.

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  • Neema Rimber

    Faculty of Arts

    Neema has proven to be a motivated, curious and diligent student. As a student at St Mary’s School, Nairobi, she emerged as the top student of her International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) graduating class with top marks in Economics, Physics and Environmental Systems and Societies. During her time at St. Mary’s, Neema was an avid participant in many extra-curricular activities including numerous volunteer efforts with children’s’ homes in and out of Nairobi as well as clubs such theatre where she received awards for her performance and commitment and the East Africa Model United Nations where she served as the Senior Chairperson for the Ecology Committee. In her senior year, she assumed the role of Head Girl in her school and exhibited gracious and valuable leadership and mentorship to her peers, which she credits as having taught her the value of service. Passionate about educating ‘tomorrows generation’, she also worked as an intern with EducationUSA- US Embassy Nairobi, under their program to help students from underprivileged backgrounds apply to university. It is clear by her interests that Neema has the desire to apply her educational knowledge into a career that serves her community. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics will provide her with the knowledge and skillset to pursue a career that serves her community in a variety of ways. She hopes to work with engineers to determine costs and viability of sustainable energy sources with the aim of increasing efficiency and encouraging rural electrification. She is also eager to empower women in her community to rise up and plans on leading by example.

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  • Sharon Shamuyarira

    Sauder School of Business

    As a student, Sharon won a full scholarship to attend Harare International School, from which she earned her IB Diploma and was named Salutatorian. During the IB program, Sharon showed immense critical thinking and writing skills especially in business management which she takes great interest. Taking advantage of her time at Harare, Sharon immersed herself in the extra-curricular activities. Sharon wrote for her school newspaper and served as treasurer of the student council. Sharon has been heavily involved in service for the disabled, elderly and underprivileged. She has represented her school in the National Junior Parliament and served as President of the Interact Club receiving an Outstanding Service Award. At UBC, Sharon is enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program with the aim to acquire business management knowledge to work locally to develop strategies for economic growth, and in particular, empower young women in business through the South African Development Community. She wants to focus on job creation for women in her region and devise a program to provide loans for female entrepreneurs.

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  • Left to right: Eddie Amaitum (Cohort 2), Lemlem Taye (Cohort 3), Sharon Shamuyaria (Cohort 3), Abenezer Woldehana (Cohort 4) at our Scholars Reception in October 2015.

Undergraduate Cohort 2 (2014)

  • Eddie Amaitum

    Faculty of Arts

    Eddie Amaitum strongly believes that Africa’s youth are key to finding solutions to some of the continent’s pressing challenges and must actively be engaged in its transformation. Seeking to empower other youth, he co-published a book titled Glow Within, and founded Achieve Uganda, a community program focused on supporting underprivileged young people through entrepreneurship. Under Eddie’s leadership, Achieve Uganda has expanded to the entire community, with program alumni setting up businesses and taking on community leadership roles. He is also deeply passionate about entrepreneurship, education and the environment. While attending St. Maria Goretti Secondary School in Mpigi, Uganda, Eddie volunteered extensively, spearheading the “Go Green Project” which focused on tree planting as a conservation strategy, and taking on a peer counselling role that included HIV/AIDS prevention and substance abuse. He hopes to set up a company to contribute to his country’s economy and support youth through job creation and skills-building. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia.

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