Rethinking the "Unthinkable"

Mitchelle's Story

We all strive to achieve unthinkable realities. For some, the unthinkable is earning a college scholarship or landing a dream job. For others, it is single-handedly raising a family. Seemingly worlds apart, both scenarios require confidence, strategy, and above all: dedication. Mitchelle Bernadette’s mother; Violet Atito, works several jobs so that she can support her children and nourish a healthy family. As the youngest of three girls, Mitchelle sees in her mother’s work the dedication necessary to sustain and advocate for herself and her support system. Mitchelle is quiet and reserved: she knows from her keen observance that persistence and determination is necessary for her to succeed among her peers. She saw the strategy work with her mother, and she is paving a new way for herself with these values...

August 15, 2019

We all strive to achieve unthinkable realities. For some, the unthinkable is earning a college scholarship or landing a dream job. For others, it is single-handedly raising a family. Seemingly worlds apart, both scenarios require confidence, strategy, and above all: dedication.

Mitchelle Bernadette’s mother; Violet Atito, works several jobs so that she can support her children and nourish a healthy family. As the youngest of three girls, Mitchelle sees in her mother’s work the dedication necessary to sustain and advocate for herself and her support system. Mitchelle is quiet and reserved: she knows from her keen observance that persistence and determination is necessary for her to succeed among her peers. She saw the strategy work with her mother, and she is paving a new way for herself with these values.

Mitchelle is among the 84%  of Kenyan girls to attend primary school.  Being among the handful of girls from Kibera who go on to county and national secondary schools, Mitchelle and her mother worried about being able to pay. Although primary education is subsidized by the government, low income families and youth who seek this next step often struggle to come up with the payments for high school.

Mitchelle heard about an opportunity from CFK for secondary school scholarships through a friend. She applied with high KCPE marks to CFK’s Angaza Scholarship Project and she was shortlisted for the interview process. She was thrilled to find out that she had been granted a scholarship. The Angaza Project not only provides scholarships for qualifying students, it also offers mentorship, career guidance, exposure visits outside of Kibera as well as provides leadership development opportunities.

Mitchelle now attends Loreto Matunda Girls High School, which is a five-hour drive from Kibera. In this new setting, she sought to achieve her ‘unthinkable.’ She sprouted an interest in German, which she studied hard and learned the language to proficiency. She then entered in a national German essay-writing contest and earned one of the highest scores among the hundreds of submissions received, granting her a one-month trip to Germany for her incredible submission.

She knows that this is an uncommon opportunity, but that she worked hard and will learn invaluable lessons on the trip. When asked about how she felt about the upcoming trip, she replied, “my first flight gets to be not just outside Kenya but outside Africa; I cannot wait for the experience. Imagine that, me in Germany...”

Mitchelle and her mother, Violet, prior to her trip to Germany

Currently in Germany, Mitchelle is embarking on her journey to learn both in the classroom and in experience. This will be an opportunity for her to experience life outside of Kenya; an international experience that she is ecstatic to begin. This is exactly the type of exposure visit and educational opportunity that the Angaza Project nourishes students to attain.

Mitchelle’s mother sees the value in her journey and her hard work. She is gracious in supporting her daughter’s bravery and her pioneering spirit. She sees in Mitchelle similar qualities of her own, for which she is prideful. “As a mother, my pride is beyond anything,” Violet said. “She will be our ambassador, our pride of joy.”

The shared mindset of Mitchelle’s family is evident in her success. It is this set of values and so many others that enhance CFK’s programs. Mitchelle is a model student and a great thinker; one that the Angaza project is happy to support through her journey to achieve her “unthinkable”.

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