“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an engineer. As a young girl, I had great interest in math and sciences, two integral subjects for engineering courses enthusiasts. My father played a big role in influencing me to pursue the course. He always encouraged me to tackle the hard subjects,” she says.
Grace comes from a humble family in a village in Mwingi, Kitui County and describes her childhood as a chord of many sad notes. “I had very low self-esteem in primary school because of our financial incapability and because our school was far from home, the walks were too tiring to focus on class. However, with the encouragement from my father, I worked hard and came top of my school in the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) exams. It was a joyous moment for my entire family and this success catapulted my confidence. It was an affirmation that I could do it”.
“For my secondary school studies, I joined St. Angela’s girls in Kitui County. It was a big school of about 400 students and it being a new environment, my father was by my side urging me on,” she offers. Since she was not very good at socializing, Grace dug deep in books. She posted an impressive A- (minus) grade in her final exams for the Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE).
“I was elated. I was going to join university, a feat not achieved by many girls I knew. As I waited for my parents to pool money for my university studies, which included holding a fundraiser, I got a temporary job as science teacher. I joined TUK then moved to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and it is while here that I got into the Global Give Back Circle, a programme dedicated to helping hundreds of girls continue their education, receive mentorship and life skills training, find employment and give back to their communities”.
“GGBC opened my world to new possibilities. I particularly enjoyed their life-skills workshops that addressed topics such as reproductive health and financial skills. GGBC also ensured that I remained in school through paying my school fees and offering me an upkeep. That is more than anyone could have asked for,” she offers.
As her give back plan, Grace has a mentee in secondary school. “Basically, she is a beneficiary through me and is following in my engineering steps. I must say that she is doing very well. My hope is that through this mentorship process, she will also pay it forward and mentor another girl, preferably one pursuing engineering because the world should never have enough of women engineers”.