Scholar Spotlight: an update on two of our original students
When their school unfortunately closed down due to circumstances out of their control upon completion of their first year they were forced to seek transfer admission elsewhere. Being such bright and unique students I suggested that they try to enter one of the top private high schools in their area. One afternoon just after the start of the term, the three of us traveled together the Church of Christ Senior Secondary School in their area to meet with the headmaster. All fingers were crossed.
After a few preliminary questions, which the girls both answered exceptionally well, the headmaster declared that they could not in fact come to his school because they were from the village and were girls and were surely not be able to keep up with the high academic standards of his school. Not taking “no” for an answer, the three of us argued and begged until we had convinced him to give them a chance. They were to be admitted for 1 term, at the end of which if they didn’t perform they would be expelled. Any wrong step on their part in any way would lead to immediate termination of their place in the school.
Despite this less than warm reception the girls and I were thrilled! They went out and got their books and uniforms and were ready for class the following Monday. Being the fighters that I knew them to be I had no doubt that they would not only perform up to the average standard but excel. And that they did! After only a single term, in which they started late, they were the second and third ranked students in their class. After another term they were ranked one and two. And this week they start their final year of SHS and register for their WASSCE, the high school exit exam, which they will take in June. Remembering where these two girls have come from and knowing all of the challenges that they’ve faced along the way I can’t help but overflow with pride and admiration when I think of them. Knowing that these are the types of students that Expo embraces only reinforces all of the good work that our team is doing across the region in my mind. I know each program associate in Ghana, past and present, has their own Florences and Prisciallas and that knowledge warms my heart more than anything else : )
Amber Shevin is a co-executive director of Exponential Education. This post is an update from a previous scholar spotlight that included Priscilla and Florence, which you can read here.