Seraphina is one of St Jude’s first graduates, studying for a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Natural Resources, Economics and Business at the University of Dar es Salaam, one of Tanzania’s top universities.
According to Tanzania Invest, 67% of Tanzanian workers are employed in the agricultural industry. It is Seraphina’s dream to match entrepreneurial skills with her passion for farming, and help build Tanzania’s economy.
Life hasn’t always been smooth-sailing for the aspiring business leader.
Seraphina attended a Tanzanian government high school until Form 5, when she successfully gained one of St Jude’s highly contested academic scholarships for her final two years of high school.
Seraphina came to St Jude’s with limited English, yet she had a fierce determination to make the most of her free, quality education.
“When I first dressed in my St Jude’s school uniform, I just thought, ‘wow, this is a dream come true!’”
“My family and I were so excited that I had been accepted [into St Jude’s]. It was the opportunity of a lifetime,” Seraphina said.
“At first, in classes, I was not confident. My teachers didn’t mind if my English was not good at first, they just wanted to encourage me to speak. They empowered me, and my school friends helped.”
Seraphina is proving indeed that, through hard work and opportunities, anything is achievable.
The decision to participate in the Beyond St Jude’s Community Service Year was an easy one to make.
“I was so happy to do community service at St Jude’s. I worked as a boarding parent at St Jude’s Moivaro campus. My responsibilities were to help young students with their studies, make sure they were safe and clean and help them prepare for school.”
“I learned so much. You have to love children. They really helped to improve my confidence.”
When speaking with Seraphina, it’s difficult to imagine her as anything other than self-assured. Obviously, hundreds of her classmates agree.
The second-year university student was nominated to be Senior Secretary for her university hall. Seraphina is now the peer-elected leader of 600 females.
“I have learned at university that I am self-motivated, and I can motivate other people. In May, the student council President came to me and said,
‘Sera, what if you contest to be a leader for the University of Dar es Salaam?’” Seraphina explained.
“I said, ‘no, there are so many people, I can’t do it, I’d have to campaign. What if I lose?’”
“The President replied, ‘you just have to be self-confident, you have to try and be yourself.’”
“I thought, ‘okay, I can do that.’ I gave it a try, I did a campaign and then I was chosen!”
Seraphina has been inspired by St Jude’s staff like Vivian, our Beyond St Jude’s Coordinator, who she aims to emulate to serve her classmates.
“She’s got incredible confidence and when she talks to me, I feel like I can achieve anything.”
Seraphina’s St Jude’s journey has helped her emerge as an advocate and mentor in her own right.
“I enjoy motivating people and giving advice. I was chosen to be a leader. There are changes I can make.”
“A big challenge for women in Tanzania is lack of education. Tanzania has a history of not allowing women to be equal, we were always just supposed to do domestic duties.”
“These days, more girls are motivated to study. When you have an education, you have a chance at making your own life. You get choices.”
Seraphina’s higher education scholarship is currently only half-sponsored. Please support students like Seraphina to ensure they can complete their higher education and create change. Donate now.