Being an OBAMA SCHOLAR

A Commitment to Change the World

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"When I became an Obama Scholar, I knew that I would change the world. While that might sound like a bold statement, I knew I could prove it true. Being the grandson of a Chief and the son of a fierce freedom fighter, and like most others in rural Zimbabwe, I was raised in abject poverty, but confident in the powers of Ubuntu - an essential African concept that means, "I am because you are...and that a person is a person through other people..." Through hard work and going the extra mile, I left my birthplace beginning at age 17, enduring grueling journeys through dangerous territories to secure my education.

I grew up working in the fields in communities to raise money for tuition. Raised as the only boy in a family of five girls, I understood the vulnerabilities that are faced by young girls in disadvantaged families and communities.

Educational opportunities have changed my life. Having walked this journey since elementary school I ultimately arrived in the high-rise world of Chicago in just a few short years. Now, I am an Obama Scholar and I am out changing the world through the opportunity of education as part of the Obama Foundation family.

Undeterred by poverty, hunger, robberies, and fear, I see my journey as a series of valuable lessons and my success as an obligation to help others progress. Being an Obama Scholar is the greatest opportunity that has happened to me. Meeting the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was a life-changing experience and meeting the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, gave me an inspiration for a lifetime. I am honored to be part of their vision to develop the next generation of young leaders.

In Chicago, together with 24 other Obama Scholars from across the globe, I was fortunate to spend a year at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. This incredible opportunity equipped me with the skills, experiences, training and the connections from the Obama Foundation's network of young leaders and global change-makers to help me take my work to the next level. Through a partnership with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in 2019, I launched the first Annual Girls Education Conference in Chicago.

With the support of the John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation, the #100Scholarships initiative is my signature achievement from the Obama Scholars Program. This initiative is allowing 100 children from 100 families in 21 villages to pursue an education. The likely alternative for 70 girls within this group of 100 is that they are at risk of child marriages and no chance to pursue their education. My commitment is to change the lives of young people through education and leadership development.

When I left office, I decided that the next thing I would do is to develop the next generation of leaders. President Barack Obama

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