The IIE Addis Ababa office held an award ceremony at Fitawrari and Addis Ketema schools to celebrate the final selection of the Higher Education Readiness (HER) recipients. The 100 girls had successfully completed this past spring’s tutoring sessions, attended and did well in the summer enrichment activities including English language training and leadership and life skills development, and scored well enough on the Ethiopian National Exam to proceed directly to the 11th grade academic track. Congratulations to all of the HER recipients! We are very proud of you and look forward to working with you over the coming two years.
The award ceremonies were incredibly moving. Speakers included the summer HER tutors who spoke about the girls’ commitment and fortitude to attend the daily workshops and fully participate and implement what they were learning in their daily lives; parents who spoke about how proud they are of their daughters and their ability to overcome daily hardships and about wanting to provide the girls every opportunity to successfully complete their education; and the HER girls who spoke about their dreams, their challenges, and how the scholarship was going to help them achieve their goals and become better citizens to serve their communities.
It truly was a remarkable two days and reminded me that everyone, no matter what their circumstances, has enormous potential, provided they are given an opportunity.