When you support St Jude’s you aren’t just providing free education to the poorest and brightest students in Arusha. You are supporting nearly 300 talented, dedicated staff members who are committed to fighting poverty in their country. In our Staff Spotlight series we’ll introduce you’ll get to know these impressive members of the St Jude’s family. This month, meet Vivian Deus, a superstar in our Beyond St Jude’s team whose talent is only matched by her commitment to our graduates.
She’s an in-demand fashion designer who teaches law in her spare time – but the thing that makes Vivian Deus a perfect role model for our St Jude’s graduates is her commitment to making a difference in her community.
“I love what I do because I get to work with the graduates and help them become the leaders of Tanzania,” Vivian says.
“What I tell our graduates when they come to me for advice is they’ve got to find something they love and use it to make a difference.”
Vivian has been a key part of our Beyond St Jude’s (BSJ) team since joining 18 months ago and helping our first Form 6 graduates during the inaugural Community Service Year (CSY).
Her role in the team is to help graduates during their CSY and give them guidance as they prepare for higher education, while also communicating with St Jude’s supporters.
The hard-working 27-year-old is the perfect example of versatility and living proof that you can always find time to follow your passion.
“When I was in primary school I was in Arusha and we did fashion shows, and the passion started growing in me,” she said. “My step-mum was very crafty, and I learnt a lot from her. She made me grow that passion.”
Vivian started designing in 2014, and when she wasn’t in the BSJ office she worked many odd hours to pursue clothing design and production from home.
“I also branched out into accessory-making with a local lady,” she said.
Vivian’s clothing and jewellery have become a hit at St Jude’s and word has been getting around town, so she has started a small business to help keep up with demand.
On top of being one of St Jude’s most dedicated staff members and a budding fashion mogul, Vivian teaches law part-time.
Her teaching internship is part of a plan to qualify for a possible scholarship for her Masters, where she plans to major in Origin Integration law.
It’s a lot of commitments to juggle, but Vivian’s number one priority is her job at St Jude’s, a position she wants to hold for the next 10 years.
“I love what I do and I’m so lucky to have the opportunities I have. I’ve already learnt so much in my time with Beyond St Jude’s, especially from Angela (Bailey, BSJ manager),” she said.
This worldly woman, who has previously studied in Russia, is now venturing to North America to cement our school’s upcoming opportunities with the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at African Leadership Academy.
St Jude’s has qualified as a recruiting partner for the prestigious program, which means our graduates may be eligible for their international scholarships.
Not only do these scholarships open our students to a world of possibilities, the program is in line with St Jude’s mission of creating future leaders of Tanzania by ensuring all scholarship recipients return to Africa after finishing their higher education.