Like many of the girls she goes to school with, Romell Yakubu, 15, has faced her fair share of obstacles. The ninth grader hasn’t heard from her father since he left Liberia for Nigeria in 2005. But hardship didn’t stop her from chasing her dreams. Anne Rosenblum of Liberia Now sat down with Romell this summer to discuss her Girls Education International scholarship, education, and goals. Like her classmates, Romell is a young girl with plenty of ambition. She wants to become a geologist—an obscure profession in Liberia, but one that’s very much needed given the country’s abundance of natural resources. “That really stood out to me. It’s very unusual for someone in this region to know about geology, much less aspire to be a geologist,” reports Rosenblum. “We are very excited about Romell.” Girls Education International is thrilled to be sending Romell, along with nine other motivated Liberian girls, to school this year.
Rosenblum’s June trip to Liberia largely focused on teacher and principal training, where she and her team worked closely with these girls’ educators to ensure they get the best instruction possible, have access to good libraries, and learn about the value of community service. One of the most gratifying experiences of Rosenblum’s trip was meeting the scholarship students. ”I was very touched by their passion for education despite the poverty and difficulties,” she says.
Hope and excitement filled the room on the rainy day when Rosenblum and the scholarship committee called the Girls Ed scholarship students in for interviews. Of the 45 applicants, 10 were chosen. Amidst the excitement was also a less cheerful tone: many of the girls who didn’t receive scholarships this year showed up for the meeting in the hopes of more openings. “We’re hoping that next year we’ll be able to bring more girls on,” says Rosenblum. “We’ll go through their applications first next time around.”
At Girls Ed, we hope to get more of these deserving girls to school. Please click here to make a donation if you’d like to help the other 35 girls attend classes.
In the meantime, here’s to the bright futures of these 10 amazing young ladies as they embark on a new school year. Stay tuned for updates about these girls’ 2012-2013 school year here on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and in our E-newsletters.