Bryan is described by his teachers as having calm strength, integrity, and being caring. Through the support of Open Dreams, Bryan was able to pursue his academic dreams for which he received several academic awards in recognition of his achievements. Bryan is passionate about making information accessible and understandable for all. Whilst in high school, he staged a drama in order to educate the public on the history, symptoms and prevention of Ebola. His script was humorous, interactive and informative which won him two drama competitions
Fascinated by computers, Bryan dreams to see his home country Cameroon rise to a level of technological and industrial advancement where it is producing and exporting goods and electronics to other countries. He would like to delve into the software industry, in either web development or software development as he intends to create a software startup composed of software engineers, web designers, and marketers. His startup would provide Cameroonians with software solutions to problems they face daily. Bryan also hopes to organize massive sensitization and training programs for underprivileged youths on the benefits of obtaining valuable web development and coding skills.
Passionate about education, Angella has always fought hard to challenge stereotypes and uses her exposure to advocate for those who do not have access due to societal expectations. Her resilience, resourcefulness, and compassion led her to build an educational project called Tumeruke which aims to fight for the rights of vulnerable children while providing them with enhanced educational resources such as mentoring. Angella was also privilege to be the first Ugandan student to attend Ashesi Innovation Challenge (AIX) in Ghana which she describes as a turning point in her life. Through hands on projects and experiential learning, she was exposed to the art of design and creative problem solving. This made her think about creating a culture of reconciliation and dialogue with those around her. She reflected on the ways in which to encourage effect and difficult discussions that are rooted in honesty and empathy which transcend social, racial, geographical, and political barriers.
Angella is keen on fighting for rights of children, especially those with chronic illnesses. She believes that UBC’s enriched curriculum will challenge, stimulate, and prepare her future plans. After completing her degree, she hopes to return home to work with UNESCO and apply the skills she acquired into developing and growing Tumeruke.
Born and raised in Kenya but having studied in Ghana, Cecilia tackled each challenge as an opportunity to learn and has thrived since. She is recognized for being confident, resilient and hardworking. In her final year, she was appointed Head Girl of her school for demonstrating the ability to lead as well as being able to balance her school work with her busy extra-curricular schedule. She is also proud to have received a certificate for Best French Student in her class and Awarded best overall student of the year in recognition of her academic excellence. In addition to her academic pursuits, Cecilia participates whole-heartedly in a myriad of activities; she was active in sports, drama club, and her school’s cultural dance group. She also volunteered with SOS Children’s Village and helped to raise funds to be used to build a library that provide easy access to students without having to travel long distances.
Cecilia hopes to improve the Kenyan public school system by influencing government to introduce holistic education that allows for exploring one’s talents and passion. She believes this approach to education allows students to become more open-minded, improve communication skills, increase their efficiency, improve the quality of education as well as promote an all-inclusive environment for students to learn and develop as well-rounded agents of change. She also hopes to build an affordable hospital for residents of her community to tackle the problem of poor health care services. At UBC, she is confident that she’ll be able to create a network of people and resources to help her raise awareness for her causes.
Kimara is passionate about Africa, her history and her development. She is an avid researcher on development theories and more so on Kenyan and African history. She is described by her teachers as a “student of remarkable academic ability and intellect”. Kimara is equally committed to her academic and community involvement responsibilities. She contributed to her school magazine which she revived after years of inactivity and took charge of the production process for two years. She was also very involved in the St. John’s Ambulance Society where she served as a senior cadet and let her team to National Victory.
Kimara aspires to contribute in fostering a culture of integrity, awareness, ownership and patriotism that will push people to hold governments accountable in order to promote leadership, economic and political reforms. Her goal is to be part of the minds that design and formulate policies specific to the structures, dynamics, and people of Africa with a focus on, the often ignored, social factors and environment of the region. Her Bachelor in International Economics will serve as a solid foundation for her understanding of global economics and research sectors worldwide its relations with Africa. She hopes to return home with a good knowledge of international policies, politics, economics and social structures.
Growing up in South Africa, Amo is described as being a man of integrity, leadership, determination academic success, and positive influence. He received the Student Scholarship Program (SSP) which gave him the opportunity to join the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ). Throughout his time at AISJ, Amo was involved in various leadership activities including Model United Nations, the Human Rights Advocacy Group, Global Issues Service Summit Project, and was a student leader of the on-campus boarding house. He was recognized numerous times for his academic excellence and service learning and was selected to participate in the Yale Young African Scholars Program. Amo shares his compassion, resources, energy, knowledge and time with his community. An example of this is his initiative Kopano, meaning “coming together” in Setswana- Amo’s native language. His vision is to bridge the gap between the poverty of a nearby township and the affluence and resources of his school community. This project has evolved from a yearly food drive to providing food packets for child-led households on a monthly basis.
Amo hopes to improve and develop his hometown of Welegevaal by changing the mindset of youth towards education. He would like to create youth development programs which would offer career guidance and technology skills. His pursuit of a Bachelor of Commerce at the Sauder School of Business will give him better understanding of how to bridge business ideas with community initiatives that encourages grown and collaboration.
Charles is passionate about learning and finding solutions to help those around him. He is described as someone who is comfortable with the unknown, creative, and who perseveres despite the obstacles he is faced with. Charles wholeheartedly invests himself into giving back and helping his community thrive. In the summer of 2016, Charles began volunteering as a mathematics, science, English tutor and counsellor at a children’s’ home, ‘Emma’s Kids’. There, he encouraged kids to think beyond their situation and to look at education as the key to success. In 2017, Charles advocated for the reconstruction of the sports centre in his township after seeing the high prevalence of teenage pregnancies and abuse of drugs and alcohol in the youth in his community. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development approved his request and began the renovations.
By studying Chemistry and Physics at UBC, Charles hopes to find different sustainable alternatives to fuel to reduce deforestation and Zambia’s dependence on other nations. He is particularly interested in Biofuel and is eager to discover the ways in which it can sustainability be introduced to Zambia’s economy.
Bahati is described as a unique individual amongst her peers who continues to strive for holistic excellence with positivity. In secondary school, she took part in her student council, participated in the Young Scientist Competitions with her influential project that won in the social sciences category, and took part in FEMA Organization’s Youth Advisory Board. She is a recent high school graduate of the International School of Tanganyika in Tanzania where she also took on various leadership roles. She led Mtoni Community Service group that helped disabled children with physical and mental growth, and volunteered in rural public schools to teach Economics, Commerce and English to students. Bahati was also a recipient of the prestigious Yale Young Global Scholars Program scholarship. As a result, she had the opportunity to spend a summer at Yale University to learn about sustainable development and social entrepreneurship. Bahati’s sense of responsibility and initiative, led her to create an entrepreneurial foundation called WELU to meet the needs of the marginalized poor in her community. WELU aims to provide income to participants by raising chickens and distributing their eggs to be sold in the market.
Bahati has great dreams of becoming a successful social entrepreneur and learn better ways to utilize resources available in her home country of Tanzania to fight poverty and promote education. She hopes to gain the tools and connections necessary to achieve her goal at UBC whilst discovering Canadian culture.
Clinton is described as being creative, relentless and selfless. He was recognized several times for his academic performance in Business Studies, Geography and Science. Meanwhile, he was involved in extracurricular leadership roles as the Entertainment Captain, Dining Hall Captain, and the Residential Mentor. In addition, he founded two initiatives to help support the youth in his community by raising funds to sponsor their school fees and by visiting them to offer words of encouragement. Through these organizations called Mukaa School Helping Hands Foundation and Nancy Foundation, he’s been able to support 55 and 800 youth respectively.
Attending Mukaa Boys High School by way of the Wing to Fly scholarship through the Equity Group Foundation, Clinton aspires to be game changer in education and healthcare by making these services available, accessible and affordable. He would like to provide scholarships, establish schools and build hospitals. His vision is to build 35 health facilities across Africa and supporting more than 30,000 students by 2050. He believes there is no better place than the Faculty of Arts to nurture his entrepreneurial spirit and develop equitable and sustainable solutions to materialize his dreams.
Despite being faced with financial hardships, Sam’s determination drove him to excel academically far above his peers. As the “Best Graduating Student”, “Best Graduating Science Student”, and the recipient of the Directors Excellence Award for obtaining all ‘A’s in WASSCE, Sam demonstrated the power of consistency, drive and confidence. He is described by his teachers as being pragmatic, a goal setter and level-headed. He was the president of the JETS club, volunteered with Friends of the Helpless Club, Enrile Youth Association, and was Senior Prefect of Starfield College.
Sam believes a Chemical Engineering degree from UBC would give him an avenue to achieve his goal of providing a long-lasting solution to the energy and power supply problem in Nigeria. He hopes to learn how to diversify the energy sector and provide more access to cleaner, renewable and sustainable energy in the country. In his free time, Sam enjoys playing football, badminton, and playing the drums.
Juliet is described as a jovial, self-motivated and caring individual who is driven by love in everything that she does. She constantly expresses genuine care for the success of others and is always happy to lend a helping handJuliet was a volunteer at Kenya Red Cross where she helped teach and administer First Aid. In 2015, Juliet Pioneered a project called Shedd’s Children’s Home when she noticed that some children were suffering from deficiency diseases. She started growing kale in sacks to help increase the vitamins in their diet. Shedd’s Children’s Home was recognized as the ‘Best Community Project’ by the Goethe Institute in the “You for Your Community” competition. She hopes to expand the project to a shelter which would accommodate more homeless children and remove them from the streets where they face dangers of drug- abuse and crime.
Juliet would like to address the issue of food shortage in Kenya by helping in the design and construction of dams in dry areas to harvest water that would then be used for irrigation. She is strongly confident that her acquired knowledge in Civil Engineering from UBC will help her achieve her goal of eradicating hunger and Kenya’s dependence on food aid.
Viola is described as an intelligent, well-rounded and grounded individual who challenges herself and actively seeks new opportunities and experiences. At a very young age, Viola witnessed the power of education and as a result, she worked tirelessly to ensure she would attend and excel in school. This determination awarded her a Wing to Fly scholarship to attend Moi Girls High School in Eldoret. Viola has received several awards to acknowledge her hard work and commitment to bettering her community. In recognition of her excellent leadership skills, she received a Leadership Award from Equity Group Foundation under Equity Bank, she received an academic award from the Parents Teachers Association in recognition of her outstanding performance in Chemistry, Agriculture, Geography and Biology, she received a Presidential Award from the County Governor of Uasin Gishu for being able to mobilize her classmates to voluntarily clean the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and she received an award from the Kenya National Congress for presenting a science project that offered a different method of paper production using sugarcane peels. In her spare time, Viola enjoys mentoring children in her community and spending time running campaigns that to emphasize the importance of education as a tool to eradicate poverty.
Viola’s vision is to develop a reliable software that would facilitate free, fair and credible elections in her home country, Kenya. She also wishes to build a system that would connect street children and children’s homes to give them a hope and a future. Finally, she would like to establish a non-profit organization that offers internships to computer science students which would allow them to travel around the country and be mentors to high school students. She is confident that her knowledge acquired at UBC will enable her to combat these issues and bring peace in her community.
As a proud feminist, Fitia believes in equality, equity, and access to education for all. She is described by her teachers and supervisors as confident, proactive and passionate. Motivated by her frustration towards the lack of access to education for youth in Madagascar, Fitia works hard in her community to provide opportunities to illiterate Malagasy children and youth. She’s been involved in various extra-curricular activities centered on education including Youth First. There, she was responsible for negotiating partnerships with local and international agencies focused on youth empowerment programs implemented in Madagascar. At Youth First, she also designed the proposal for the Youth Impact Lab. This lab is a safe open space for collaboration and experimentation with a mission to provide the technical and technological support necessary for youths.
Fitia dreams of one day becoming a human rights activist or diplomat discussing and establishing projects primarily related to education initiatives in Madagascar. By enhancing the opportunities for Malagasy youth to learn skills and expand common knowledge, they will be empowered to take action. She is looking forward to pursuing her Bachelor of Arts at UBC which she believes will equip her with the necessary tools to make her dreams a reality.
Felix is described as calm, enthusiastic, innovative and talented. Whilst at SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Ghana, he developed great passions for sports, the school choir, graphic design and robotics. As the Prefect of the Nile Limpopo Hostel for two years, he worked hard to foster community and organize students to participate in various social and athletic events. Felix is also responsible for designing the Donation Management Application for the SOS Children’s Villages Ghana to help the administration record cash donations.
Felix believes that computer science and statistics provides the opportunity to engage with real-life issues, and provide better solutions to solve them. After completing his studies at UBC, Felix aspires to be become an influential and renowned entrepreneur in Ghana in the field of Data Science. Through the problem-solving, analytical and critical skills he hopes to acquire whilst at UBC, Felix aims to provide realistic solutions to the persisting problems which he believes hinder Ghana’s society.
Aline is described as being relentless, curious, tenacious, and self-motivated. Aline was ranked as the fifth best performing student in Rwanda and emerged as the fourth best performing student in the Advanced Level National Examination in her combination as well as the first young lady. She was given a scholarship to attend, Gashora Girls Academy, a standout amongst the best schools in Rwanda. At this all-young ladies’ school, Aline was exposed to a world of opportunities that fueled her dreams and ambitions. Being a science enthusiast, she took Physics, Chemistry and Math as her majors. Despite her heavy scholarly course load, Aline was engaged with different co-curricular activities, such as the volleyball team and the Light Up club- a student club which aims to help students apply science concepts to create real life solutions such as helping repair lights for those in the community. She participated in the Yale Young African Scholars Program and the Global Give Back Circle, through these leadership programs, she was able to not only learn about different cultures and diversity in leadership, but she was also able to present solutions to different global issues such as education, sustainability and global warming.
Aline’s goal is to become an influential engineer for her family, country, as well as the world. She is interested in pursuing mechanical engineering to support innovation and industrialization. Although numerous young women in Aline’s nation are exceptionally threatened by generalizations like ‘young ladies can’t be as great as young men’ or ‘young women can’t do engineering’, Aline is determined to prevail in the field and challenge these assumptions. LinkedIn Profile
Valentine Gituti Weirungu
Faculty of Arts
Gituti is describe as being mature, dependable with a high level of integrity. She is always willing to offer a helping hand and is not afraid of a challenge. Whilst at Moi Girls’ High School in Kenya, Gituti took up various leadership positions in addition to challenging her peers academically. After only a week working at the Equity Bank, she was recognized as being the best teller at her branch. Gituti has an unwavering passion for music which she loves to share with her peers and community. As the choir and band leader, she took it upon herself to restructure the school band and choir which she led to compete at a national level. She has received various awards from her high school to recognize her musical talents.
Gituti desires to open an arts academy in Kenya and provide a platform for learning music, dance, design and theatre performance as well as mentoring young artists. She believes educating the public that music and arts are an integral part of society is crucial to understanding Africa’s rich and diverse cultures. She one day hopes to work with the Permanent Presidential Music Commission of Kenya to create more platforms for all artists in Kenya and in Africa. LinkedIn Profile
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coming from a difficult financial circumstances and recognizing the obstacles being a woman in a patriarchal society, Cecilia 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.
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 Phsycology and minor in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Justice at UBC, she hopes understand the human mind and behavior to shed light on the injustices practiced on minorities and come up with solutions in order to maintain tranquility. 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.
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.
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.
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, 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 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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.