Kasiisi Project scholar Akandwahano Dominic heard some amazing news this morning. He has been chosen as 1 of the 2,032 young people, selected from over 34,000 applicants, who received an offer of admission from Harvard University.
It is hard to overemphasize the magnitude the of an achievement that gives a child who has an illiterate mother a place at arguably the world’s best university. As a young boy Dominic walked 8 miles each way to primary school leaving home in the dark before 5 am. Despite the challenges, he graduated at the top of his class, a feat he was to repeat at 3 increasingly higher ranked secondary schools, ending up top of his class at one of Uganda’s best schools
We are enormously grateful to Dominic’s sponsor Steven Oare, who enabled him to continue his education after primary school, to Kasiisi Project Literacy Program Director Barbara Stevens, who spent hours in the US Embassy in Kampala and who steered him through his application process, and the wonderful Kasiisi Project Scholarship Committee and its Chair, Dr. Emily Otali, who provided the encouragement, support, and guidance that allowed him to succeed.
We celebrate the successes of all our scholars equally, but there is no denying that this is a very special occasion. Today the Kasiisi Project is basking in Dominic’s reflected glory but we know that this triumph is all his – a fitting testimony to his focus, hard work and ambition.
Congratulations Dominic. We are SO PROUD of you !!!!! It has been a privilege to be a companion on your amazing journey.
Take a look at Nick Kristof’s article in the NY times on Wednesday From South Sudan to Yale. Dominic has not had the same refugee experiences as this boy but his academic career followed a very similar path, and he will certainly face very similar challenges at Harvard. But we are confident that that the fact that his sponsors are close by, Kasiisi Project board members are on the academic and residential staff at Harvard and that there are students and staff at Harvard who know him and have worked with the Kasiisi Project and The Kibale Chimpanzee Project in Uganda will all help make his adjustment as smooth as possible!