Team Priory for Daraja are Woodside Priory High School students, faculty and families dedicated to empowering women of promise in Kenya through the Daraja Academy. The Daraja Academy of Kenya was started four years ago by the grassroots efforts of teachers and others in the US and Kenya to get women of promise into a secondary school that they could not otherwise afford. The leverage of educating a woman in this environment is significant. Women influence their children and improve conditions of life greatly: The Nike Foundation calls it the "Girl Effect".
Shi Hao is raising donations for a student named Mary. Mary comes from “the driest place in all of Kenya”. She is one of 12 children from a father with two wives. Mary explains the polygamist family because the first wife only conceived daughters. Over time, two boys were born into the family. Mary’s father works as a janitor at a local school, which basically entails picking up paper at the end of the day, earning barely enough to feed the family and during the school breaks, he does not get paid and instead is a casual laborer in a nearby farm. The father struggles to keep his two oldest daughters in secondary school, and Mary was forced to repeat her 8th grade year in hopes that by the end of that year she would get a scholarship or she would wait at home until there was enough money. Mary wants to be a doctor, but has secret dreams of being a “footballer”, a soccer player, who travels the world. Although more than anything, she just wants to help better her family and help others.