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Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – The Children Are Our Future

Name: Robyn A Dudley
From: montpelier, VT
Grade: 11
School: u-32
Votes: 0

Bwana
asifiwe!” I exclaimed, and the crowd repeated it back to me with
surprised excitement. “Bwana asifiwe tena!” I shouted again.
These people had been my neighbors and community for the past month,
and I wouldn’t have traded them for anyone. Everyone in Marurani,
Tanzania goes to church. As a community service worker, I was
expected to be in the pews, but I wasn’t expected to speak. For a
month, I worked with local builders to construct a house for 2
teachers and their families to live in. Marurani has a problem that
many rural communities in Tanzania experience: not enough teachers.
The community hoped to entice some teachers from the city to work at
their primary school with the promise of free housing. Without enough
qualified teachers in the school, these kids would likely not pass
the Primary School Leaving Exam, which is mandatory to continue to
secondary school. As of now, around 50% of students fail the exam
every year, but quality education gives them a better chance. I hope
to elicit this type of change wherever I go, having always been an
active community service volunteer. For 4 years I have volunteered
with the youth of Vermont through the Green Mountain Conservation
Camp system. We educate girls on proper hunting and trapping
techniques, giving them the skills to succeed in a male dominated
sport. For weeks every summer, we give the girls the skills to be
empowered and confident women, surrounding them with just that.

Many
people have goals of success that include money and power, however I
am not interested in those things. I view success as whether or not
you are making a positive impact on the people of this world, whether
it be your family, community, or complete strangers. I hope to make a
positive impact on the world around me, which is why I am doing early
college at Norwich University to get my BA in political science and
international relations. My main goal in positively impacting the
world is to increase accessibility to education. As someone who is
the first person in my family to go to college, I understand the
challenges of fighting for education. While I have always been aware
of this struggle in my own life, being in Tanzania opened my eyes to
just how much work needs to be done. When I think of the kids I
created relationships with, that will likely never get a chance at
secondary education, it ignites something in me. No child deserves to
be left behind, and combating education disparities is the first step
to stopping it. I plan on using my education to pull up the others
who have been left behind me.


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