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COVID-19 Communication

Social Work Professor Mentors Students in Kenya

October 20, 2015
Mary Gatua
Mary Gatua

Mary Gitau was invited to be a guest speaker at the Girls Mentorship Program organized by Karatina University in collaboration with the District Education Office of Mathira East sub-county in the Central Province of Kenya. A total of 502 girls from seven girls’ high schools participated in the event. The invitation was extended to Gatua by the key organizers from Karatina University who included Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor Penninah Aloo-Obudho and the Head of the Department of Social Science, Dr. Margate Mwenje.

The girls were mentored on issues such as academic excellence, self-worth, goal setting, relationships and life skills. Gitau spoke to the girls on the four pillars of excellence: academic performance, perseverance, self-confidence and community involvement.

“In my lecture, I urged the girls to build their self-confidence and seek opportunities that will enable them to discover and fulfill their potentials. Having graduated from a Kenyan high school, and then pursued higher education in the United States myself, I encouraged the girls to stay focused and work hard in pursuit of their educational goals,” Gitau said.

She was impressed that the girls, all in the 12 grade or last year of high school, actively listened to and appreciated the words of guidance and wisdom from various speakers.

As a first-generation college student, Gitau is aware of the numerous challenges these girls face. Many of them come from low-income families where college is not an option. This mentoring opportunity could enable them to develop the self-esteem to make informed decisions for themselves as they travel into their futures.

Gitau understands first hand that any support and guidance in life, especially as it relates to higher education, is critical.