In July, 42 new Form 5 students tied their shoelaces, pulled up their socks and adjusted their St Jude’s uniform for the very first time.
The aspiring scholars have clung to high hopes through years of anticipation and perseverance.
One of these students is Agness. At 18 years old, she’s on the cusp of reaching her dreams — pursuing her love for drama, and becoming an engineer.
Clever and confident, Agness was invited by the headmaster of her government school to take our Form 5 entrance exam at Sisia campus earlier this year.
Flashing a broad smile, Agness fondly remembered the life-changing moment she learnt she’d been accepted into St Jude’s.
“I live with my grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunties and sisters; I have two older sisters, and a twin!” Agness said.
“My family felt so happy, especially my grandfather. He was thankful for the St Jude’s staff who visited us, and thankful to God for the opportunity.”
“My twin sister still attends a government school. It’s different for her, because the support you get from teachers in government schools is small compared to the support from St Jude’s teachers.” she recalled.
“I used to have to find answers to questions by myself, but at St Jude’s, we collaborate with other students in discussion groups and the teachers always help us.”
Acceptance into St Jude’s opens the door to a bright future; however, in Tanzania, the transition from a government school to an English-medium school presents unique challenges.
“The first time I came through the St Jude’s gates, I was nervous because it was a new environment. I didn’t know anyone. I came here wearing my government school uniform, then I collected my St Jude’s uniform. When I first saw myself wearing it in the mirror, I looked so happy,” Agness said.
“St Jude’s is good, the teachers are excellent, and I finally have enough learning materials. The students cooperate with the teachers, so we can all study and perform very well,” she explained.
Unstoppable Agness, a self-taught English speaker, is learning new and exciting things every day from her school friends.
“We can join so many clubs and do activities here! I like drama, singing and I want to be a volunteer,” she grinned.
“I believe anything is possible if you work hard. I always had hope for myself, but my goals are only really possible now because of St Jude’s,” Agness remarked.
“I want to say thank you to The School of St Jude’s supporters for giving us the chance to come here. I didn’t expect to get this opportunity. Even though I don’t have a sponsor yet, I am hopeful. This feels like a dream come true.”
Would you like to help a new student’s dream come true? You can today, by becoming a sponsor!