Back in 2017, I accepted an invitation from one of my best friends to attend a GEC Fundraiser in Baton Rouge, not knowing how it would shape my life for years to come. Sitting in a room in downtown Baton Rouge, I found myself transported to Accra, where I met a sweet Grade 5 student named Sheila. The more and more I learned about her story, the more I realised not only the power contained in such a sweet girl, but the power of GEC’s work.
As a career educator, I know firsthand the power of education, having seen the impact it can have on my students, their families, and communities. For these reasons, when presented with the opportunity to sponsor Sheila for a year of schooling, I had no choice but to immediately say “YES!” to being a part of her future. In Ghana, getting into a great school for secondary school, followed by university, creates a pathway to success that is critical for students’ futures, so the ability to be a part of that for Sheila was something I was excited about.
Fast forward to 3 years later and I finally touched down here on The Continent in Kenya. Working here in Kenya, and joining the GEC Board, I have been able to get even more involved in the ways that GEC supports Ghanaian schoolchildren for long term success. Perhaps even more exciting, I finally got to meet Sheila in person and see firsthand the incredible young woman she is becoming! Pulling up to the house and getting out the car was exciting, nerve-wracking and impressive, like a family reunion. We spent part of the morning together visiting, and I was incredibly impressed by everything she has accomplished.
For me, Sheila is emblematic of the work that we do at GEC. Supporting children on their journey to secondary school, and later college, through both scholarships and youth leadership development programs, we help them get set up for long-term success. Today, watching Sheila participate in our programs such as the Changemaker Program, I am impressed by the young woman she is becoming, and excited to see where the future takes her, and us as a GEC Family!