About four years ago my father disposed of his property to fulfill the commitment that he had with his daughter. Since I joined Primary School, he always promised to give me the best. Post high-school promises did not veer from his commitment; perhaps the only difference this time round was the fact that “the best” was just a noun.
It was the University of my choice, the one that has born the title of merit in my line of specialization-Business-for as long as the records have it. I can still recall my father’s statement immediately he received my results, “I have scanned the Education Sector in Kenya and I am convinced that no other institution offers quality learning in business like Strathmore University. I am therefore going to do my best to give you the best.”
On the morning of admission, I learnt that he had talked to our church elder and the church was willing to make a contribution towards my school fees. This was another sign of hope; however, it needed a lot of back up. When he realized I was worried about the figures, he quickly disclosed to me that he was in the process of selling his piece of land. My father’s act of sale brought a bit of confidence to my sisters and I. This is because we were so sure he did not have the capacity to honor his commitment. I secured my admission into Strathmore University in 2014.
All was well throughout my first year. However, along the way, things fell apart. It became hard for him to balance the payment of fees for my siblings and me: two sisters in campus, my brother in high school as well as my cousin in college. I was devastated as I saw the first day of my story of unachieved dreams glare back at me.
Hopeless and uncertain, I told my story to the one who was funding; I was so sure that there was no other way out of it. I went to meet them with a heavy heart. My classmate, friend and roommate, who was also a beneficiary of the scholarship programme explained my inability to raise funds on my behalf. That became the turning point- a story rewritten by Strathmore University – through the Financial Aid office and the Strathmore Loan Scheme.
Through the scheme, I became the beneficiary of an amount totaling 75% of my dues every semester; which translated to about KES 100,000. The repayment condition included a payback clause of 60%; applicable to all the years I managed an aggregate grade of an A. That to me was very important because Strathmore would settle KES 70.000 and I would only pay back KES 30,000 upon meeting the conditions. This cumulative amount is payable for a period of four years after finalizing studies with a minimal interest of 4%. I made a commitment with the Financial Aid office. As I write today, I see my dreams in my hands, closer to me and achievable.
My stay at the University has since been productive. Aside from committing myself to my studies, I served in the Student Council as an Academic Representative; my team was part of the Global Management Challenge 2015 where we won 1st Runners up Nationally; I am a trained leader- courtesy of AkiliDada, – and I also got a chance to get involved in multiple youth programmes that included coordinating Africa Youth Leadership Forum- Strathmore Group.
Now here I am, a Bachelor of Commerce – Finance major – finalist, awaiting graduation with a First Class Honors in June 2018! I am elated. I AM STRATHMORE!
Article by Lavender Okore