Michelle Kemei will be EaSEP's first student at Yale University next year. Michelle, the fourth-ranked girl in the nation on the KCSE, was an early decision pick by Yale. Originally from Nandi HIlls, Michelle attended Alliance Girls High School. She hopes to use her Yale education to introduce sustainable forms of energy in rural Kenya to curb depletion of natural resources.
Luiza Chepkemoi Bett will be the fifth EaSEP student on campus at Cornell University next fall. Luiza earned early decision admission to the Ivy League school and will join Ivan Kibet, Titus Maritim, Gloria Kurere and Mercy Kiprotich in Ithaca, NY. Luiza was accepted by Cornell's College of Human Ecology. She hopes to return to Kenya after her studies to establish an oncology center. Luiza is from Kericho and attended Alliance Girls High School.
This year EaSEP students took another step forward in their journey towards a world-class education by identifying ways to apply that education at home.
While SAT and TOEFL test preparation continues to be the focus of EaSEP, critical thinking is increasingly an important piece of the larger picture as students learn to identify problems in Kenya, then consider their role in possible solutions as they lay out their educational goals.
The Class of 2013-14 listened to and discussed podcasts of TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) to prepare for the TOEFL and engaged in local needs assessments through visits with roadside vendors, patients two-to-a bed in a maternity hospital and workers at a tea estate. Students held round table discussions of ways to meet described needs and outlined the common roadblocks which stymie progress in their country. Students also investigated local organizations which are successfully dealing with the region’s problems, such as the Gynocare Fistula Center in Eldoret, and the One Acre Fund which helps some 130,000 farmers in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.
Students organized debates on current events and additional round table discussions, often based on excerpts from the Blair Reader, an anthology of essays on cultural topics by prominent authors, such as Barbara DeFoe Whithead’s “The Girls of Gen X.” The class also took advantage of the EaSEP library, reading such books as “Half the Sky” (Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn), “The Last Hunger Season” (Roger Thurow) “Cutting for Stone” (Abraham Verghese ) and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”.
With their SAT and TOEFL exams behind them and Early Decision applications safely submitted, EaSEP students have a little more than a week to wait for word from their first-choice schools.
From left: Mike Boit, 2013 EaSEP students Linus Kipkoech, Caroline Kimetto, Samson Kipkoech, Cherry Kandie, Mercy Rono, Wesley Ombeche, Hepsiba Chepngeno, Luiza Bett,
(KenSAP student Elly Too), Michelle Kemei and Evans Yatich.
EaSEP sponsor East African Scholars Fund highlights our 2013 Class in its new brochure. The cover features Hepsiba Chepngeno from Kapkeregucho village in Bomet County who earned a Jomo Kenyatta Scholarship to attend one of Kenya's top national schools, Kenya High School, where she excelled.
Princeton junior Cornellius Metto (EaSEP '10) joined a recent EASF fundraiser by Skype following a presentation by Erik Heinonen who has tutored for EaSEP and developed its curriculum and program structure.
Cornellius, who helped troubleshoot EaSEP internet issues this year, is a member of the EASF Advisory Board.