Being a Daraja girl means so much more than simply attending Daraja Academy. A Daraja girl embodies the Daraja philosophy, as conceptualized by founders Jason and Jenni Doherty. What makes a Daraja girl? A Daraja girl wakes up every day with one goal: to leave each day better than she found it. She is empathetic, confident, kind and humble, with strong moral fibre.
Principal Victoria’s favourite quote summarizes the most important quality of a Daraja girl, integrity:
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” – Alan K. Simpson
Put simply, this means that if you have a strong character and possess moral uprightness, your impact on the world will always be just and right…and this is all that really matters. If your character is weak and your morals questionable, nothing you do will make a positive difference in the world.
This is what Daraja girls are taught: you will not be perfect. We all have moments of weakness, moments of jealousy, anger and spitefulness. It is important to recognize this behaviour, and try our best to overcome it. The most important thing for a Daraja girl isn’t maintaining an excellent A+ average, it’s that she wakes up each day and tries harder than the day before to improve her studies. Daraja girls are taught that this perseverance is important, and is paramount to personal success.
What makes a girl Daraja is the example she sets to young people in Kenya when she leaves the academy for a post-secondary institution or the workforce. Our girls will always be Daraja, and we know that through their interactions, they are inspiring others to be women of integrity, strength and hope. Following is a letter the Daraja administration received from recent Daraja graduate Bilha, who is currently studying Literature and Information Technology at Maseno University, and is every bit a Daraja girl:
Dear Daraja Academy,
I appreciate the chance I got to be a member of such a wonderful family. I just completed my community service. I taught WISH at a school called Gachanka Primary School in Meru county. I must admit, this was the easiest task I have done in years. How could I talk about myself without talking about Daraja? How could I tell the pupils about where I am now without uttering the word Daraja? Talking about Daraja was my favourite part, which means the whole task was awesome. I promise not to stop there. I could see the glances of admiration the girls were giving me. I hope to do more. I am Daraja and will forever remain to be.