A Daraja graduate who believes that with hard work and faith, you can achieve anything.
“When I was in class eight, my elder brother was in school and my older sister was enrolling in form one. The cost was so tough on my mom that she told me, ‘I don’t think I can send you to high school.’ It hurt me because I knew how hard I was working—I was performing very well. And when you perform well, you just want to move forward. But when your mom tells you she won’t have the money to take you to high school… I had to think, ‘God is there for me.’
It is faith that brought me to Daraja.”
Mary credits many of the good things in life to God. She saw her time at Daraja as a blessing, a way to learn that she was a woman of integrity, strength, and hope. When asked what she gained by attending Daraja, she said, “Daraja gave me everything. It is a list so long that I can’t even remember. I am always saying I am proud to have gone to Daraja because if it hadn’t been for Daraja, where would I be? If I had gone to a different secondary school, would I be where I am now? I don’t think so.”
After the KCSE and graduation, Mary took a different path than some of the graduates; she enlisted in the Army. Growing up, Mary had always admired her aunt who was a soldier. She saw her aunt as a professional woman and leader, someone who knew what she wanted and was living a good life. Mary felt military service would allow her to follow in her aunt’s footsteps.
The first 6 months of training were no picnic as she was pushed to the very limit, but she came out stronger. “When I got into the field of soldiering, I realized it was not so easy. It is something that you have to take into your heart and have passion about. There were those days in training that were tough, but I got used to it.”
Although she is currently in the Army, Mary’s career goals include becoming an air traffic controller with the Air Force. Right now she is taking courses through the Air Force in order to achieve that goal. In the meantime, working with the Army still allows her to support herself financially with enough to send home to family.
Mary has other goals for the future beyond her career: “I want to start a project in my community, like sending girls to schools. I would even sacrifice my savings for this project. I am still working on it and praying about it. If God will help me prosper in my community, I will achieve it.”
While she works hard to get to the point where she could help other girls financially, she tries to act as a leader in her family and community by empowering those around her. “I tell them, life is hard. Nothing is easy. You must work hard and be passionate. You have to be patient and do something.”