Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Career mentorship and motivation session at St Johns High School on the 7th of July 2009

On the 7th of July 2009 Cosmos education Kenya made a visit to St. Johns high school under the Nyota profeesional insights programme. St. Johns High School is a Low income school in the Pumwani region of Nairobi. The school is partly supported by the Anglican church of Kenya and mostly caters for needy students around the Pumwani and Eastleigh areas.

On this day we were introducing the program to form one and two students who had not participated in the program previously. Bridgit Syombua, Carol Muli and Amina Issa represented CEK on this day.

Mr. Naftaly Githaka was the mentor and speaker of the day. Mr Githaka is a program specialist in genomics at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).He holds a BSC in Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi, Master of Science degree in Animal Parasitology from Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and is currently enrolled for a PhD at the Hokkaido University in Japan. In addition to this he has over 6 years experience in molecular biology.


Mr Githaka with a group of students at st Johns high school

Despite his vast experience and long list of qualifications, there was little talk on molecular biology as Mr. Githaka focused his attention on motivating the students. Carol introduced the team and welcomed Bridgit to make a brief presentation about CEK and our three golden rules which are.

  • Rule 1. Slow Down.
  • Rule 2.Ask questions.
  • Rule 3 Have Fun.

Amina then welcomed Mr. Githaka who started by telling the students about his poor background. The students were visibly shocked when he informed them that his first school was in a very remote area with no formal structures so they had their classes under a tree. He had been inspired when he was still in school through a talk given by a university graduate and he vowed to himself that he would make it to university. Mr. Githaka emphasized to the students the power of self declaration. He told the students that one did not need to come from a wealthy family in order to make it in life.

Coming from a science career he stressed on the fact that science based subjects are not hard and all that was needed was concentration and determination. Major pointers in his talk included:-

  • Urging the students to read widely.
  • Emphasizing the need to write down their goals.
  • Reminded the students to constantly talk about their dreams and aspirations.

After his presentation there was the Q&A session which depicted the enthusiasm among the students who felt inspired and empowered.

The session ended with each student writting down their goals and making a promise to widen their scope of reading material. Bridgit gave a vote of thanks and the team left the school, with a promise to return in the next school term with another mentor.

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