By Tom Bode, WSI President
Last weekend, Joyce graduated from college and completed her journey with WSI. Her journey from a humble beginning to completing a college program fulfills the promise of WSI.
Joyce grew up in Nakuru, one of the largest cities in Kenya. She attended a public K-8 school located in a slum area. Students and teachers at the school made do with limited resources: not enough teaching materials, no electricity or running water, and hand-me-down uniforms. It was the sort of place where many students went without lunch. The school had plenty of school spirit, with songs, dedicated teachers, and a soccer game every afternoon.
Joyce's 8th grade classroom.
Joyce did very well in school and finished eighth grade at the top of her class, earning a scholarship from WSI. Joyce joined WSI as a high school freshman in 2017. She attended a boarding school less than a mile from her old public school. For the first time, she had a new school uniform, a bed all to her own, and her basic needs were cared for.
Joyce as high school freshman
When we visited Joyce in 2019, she told us she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up. Whereas some students are shy when meeting visitors from another country, Joyce always had plenty to say and a great smile for everyone. In this clip, she tells us her favorite subjects.
Joyce as high school junior
WSI supported Joyce through four years of high school. When she graduated high school, her performance was not enough to earn a spot at one of Kenya's four-year universities. Instead, Joyce entered a one-year program at the Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology to study banking and finance.
Joyce as college student
On October 6, 2023, Joyce completed the dream she had strived towards for years. She graduated from the college with a diploma in Banking and Finance.
In an appreciation email to WSI, she wrote:
Hi, WSI, I am glad and happy to write to you this day, how are you doing? It is my high time to appreciate for your kindness and generosity to me and others, I am totally well and full of life. My life in university has been well, I have learnt so much there, how to conduct my self and how to live in the middle of different tribes, different religion, different background and encounter more from them. At the beginning it was not easy for me but because of our creator, you and my family who made my life easier and taught me how to cope, I have carried myself well. My course which I was taking enables me to learn more. I am now heading to achieve the goals of life level 2. I am totally humbled with your concern about my education. If try to thank you today I can't finish but I am grateful to you all, thank you and God give strength to reach more children who need help, have a lovely time. Sincerely, Joyce
Joyce has now started a small business and is earning money to support herself.
Joyce at her graduation, October 6, 2023
We are so thrilled to celebrate Joyce's success and are proud to have been part of her journey. Congratulations to her!
Consider spreading the celebration of Joyce's accomplishments and share her story with a friend.