By Merritt Frey, Executive Director
April is Alumni Month here at Mali Rising, when we celebrate the great lives our students go on to build. Read more of their stories here.
When anyone strikes out on their own, it can be a scary time. For young women like Mariam, that fear is balanced out by the hope of something better.
Mariam graduated from Mali Rising’s Cliff and Nita Bailey Middle School back in 2013. She is now 22, and working her way through university.
After finishing at Cliff and Nita Bailey in the tiny, remote village of Beneko, Mariam went to vocational school to study to be a management secretary. She did so well in that program that she was able to take the entrance examination for the University Institute of Management of Bamako and was admitted.
Today, she is in the University’s Management Assistant program. “My favorite subject is Organization and Method of Administration,” she explains. “I want to improve myself further in this area. This will allow me to know a lot about administration, planning, and file classification. In case I’m the boss, I will not need a secretary to sort my documents!”
“Education created a lot of differences between my friends and me,” says Mariam. “If I was not educated, I would have been married in the village, perhaps by force. I might already have many children or even be divorced. My life would be a nightmare like some girls in our village. Thanks to education, I can write messages if I have an emergency and I can even handle computers. My children will get a good education thanks to me. I will also be independent one day.”
Mariam’s plans for post-university sound like the dreams and worries of a 20-something anywhere around the world. “I dream of finishing my studies and finding a job quickly – which is not easy at all. I plan on getting married and having children.”
We love Mariam’s plans for the future, and her forward-thinking ideas about “in case I’m the boss.” We feel pretty sure Mariam will be a boss someday soon…and just maybe she’ll help young women just like her get started on their career paths.