By Merritt Frey, Executive Director
Each year Mali Rising donors provide scholarships for some of our most outstanding graduates to pursue additional education. Scholarship recipients are known as Inspiration Scholars, because we hope they inspire other students to study hard as they see what the Inspiration Scholars can do with their education. Scholars go on to high school, or to vocational programs such as nursing, agricultural studies, secretarial school, and more.
This month, we are collecting nominations for next school year’s new Inspiration Scholars. As part of that work, we also check in with current Scholars to see how they are faring. Here’s a story of just one Scholar from the 17/18 school year.
Boumadyè is an 18-year-old graduate of Mali Rising’s Sue Chung Chiu Middle School in the little village of Simidji. She used her Inspiration Scholarship to move to the capitol city of Bamako to pursue a secretarial degree at a vocational school.
The program requires Boumadyè to study familiar subjects such as math, French, and English, but also new subjects such as law, stenography, and typing. Law and stenography come most easily to Boumadyè, but she finds classes in administration more challenging.
Boumadyè says, “I would love to be a mayor’s office secretary because it is a very important role.”
She is just in her first year of the three-year program, so she has a ways to go before securing a prestigious mayoral office job. She is working hard though, “Sometimes we do 9 hours of classes, but the daily average is 7 hours a day. When I’m not a school, I work at home sweeping the yard and the room. I prepare the meal and learn my lessons, and then I get to watch TV.”
Boumadyè is living with her married sister in the big city. When asked who she most respects, Boumadyè explains, “I really admire my sister, who is a dyer. She is very brave….”
“I thank the donors of Mali Rising Foundation for selecting me among my fellow men to…motivate me to continue my studies,” says Boumadyè. “It is thanks to their effort that I could have the DEF [graduate middle school] and continue my studies in Bamako.”