Daraja Academy is a secondary boarding school for exceptional Kenyan girls who without their scholarships would not be able to get an education. Chase and I spent time last summer at Daraja and Chase will be returning again this year. Chase spent three weeks on campus connecting with these amazing 52 girls. They shared their common experiences-- being teenagers, going to high school, forming meaningful friendships and they shared their different life expereinces. I spent a short time on campus and did a personal values workshop with the girls. That was such a powerful and truly humbling experience. What an amazing place! What amazing girls!
We will be running the Daraja Race for 77 on May 15 during the Bay to Breakers where the 77 Daraja girls will partner with 77 of us in the Bay Area. Chase and I are partnering with two Daraja girls who will be running parallel with us in Kenya! Please join our team!
I will be partnering with 19-year old 11th grader Marylene Wangari Njagi. Marylene is a beautiful, bright and lovely girl. She is one of the oldest students on campus and was the first person admitted to Daraja. Although she's only 19, she has been through a lot. Her mother did not want her to go to school even though Marylene was one of the top performers. Her mother wanted her to work on the streets and bring home money like her sisters. After many failed opportunities to go to high school and desperate to get out of the circumstances she was in, Marylene wrote a letter to Jason and Jenni, Daraja’s co-founders and was admitted to Daraja. Marylene continues to be pressured to from her mom to quite school, but she is following her dream to become a teacher.
Chase, a 17 year old 11th grader is partnering with Mercy Cherono also a 17 year old 11th grader whom we sponsor at Daraja. Mercy is a creative, lively girl who wants to be a journalist and is very involved in the media club on campus. It is wonderful for Mercy to be able to follow her dream. It costs about $500 to go to high school in Kenya. Students have to pay for tuition, as well as school supplies and uniforms. The drop rate from elementary school to high school is 80% and especially high for girls. Mercy's life path was set to make her another statistic, however, Mercy never stopped trying in school and she was one of the top performers in her class. Mercy eventually received a four year scholarship from Daraja Academy...a twist in her fate that will not only change the course of her future, but that of her siblings and future children.
Chase and I are honored to partner with Marylene and Mercy in the Daraja Race for 77. Please join our team!