Agnes arrives in the U.S.I started this post out with a bit of background, but I’ve decided it is too much info for one post, and will probably post the back story at a later date. It is sufficient to say that my parents have a nonprofit organization that provides a safe place for girls to either go to school or work. It’s pretty great, and working with girls who generally “fall through the cracks” of the system.

This weekend, my family welcomed Agnes to the U.S. for the first time. Agnes is one of the first girls that my mother worked with when she was the headmaster (headmistress? headmissus?) at the Rafiki Foundation Girls’ Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Over time, the relationship between Agnes and my parents grew very close, becoming somewhat of an unofficial adopted daughter. When she would return from school on holiday, she would stay with my parents. When my wife and I visited in 2006, she was there on holiday, so we got to spend time with her. I realized that the relationship that my parents had formed with her was really special, and that Agnes herself was special.

Agnes has endured some things that none of us could imagine, yet she’s held steadfastly to her faith and has worked hard. She’s earned everything that she’s gotten through hard work and determination. While we visited my parents, she was on a month-long holiday during August, but she wasn’t resting on her laurels. She was in “tuition,” being tutored on subjects that she needed to beef up on. She would attend the sessions for several hours a day, then come home and do three to four hours of homework each evening.

This determination was totally inspiring to me. We’d be relaxing after a day’s work at the Center, watching a movie or doing some other fun activity, and she’d come in, say hello, walk straight back to her room, and hit the books. She’d be back there for three or four hours, emerging once it was time for dinner. At that point in my life, I wasn’t sure where I was headed; shortly after that trip I figured out the law school path. Her example was a major inspiration in that decision. Her own determination was a source of encouragement for me as I studied for the LSAT and even as I’ve gone through school these past few months.

Now, Agnes has come to the U.S. to attend University. She’ll be living with my parents, which is incredibly exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know my “little sister” more as she continues this journey.

Welcome to the U.S., Agnes! We’re so glad you came.
(some pictures of her arrival)


4 Responses to “Agnes”

  1. 1 WK June 4, 2008 at 12:06 am

    That’s actually a pretty heartwarming story, where does she live now?

  2. 2 pbpope June 4, 2008 at 5:44 am

    With my parents… She’s taking some ESL classes this term to start, and will get into the full substantive classes later this summer/this fall, I think. Pretty exciting.

  3. 3 Vmink September 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I was privileged to hear Agnes speak at her graduation from the Rafiki Girls’ Center, Kenya in 2005. She was one of five girls completing the three-year program and approximately 200 people came to watch 5 girls complete this milestone.
    It delights my heart to know that Agnes is still succeeding and has this new opportunity also. My heart is filled with joy as result of accidentally reading this blog. Thank you.

  4. 4 pbpope September 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    You’re very welcome. Agnes was joined by Damaris (another one of the original five) a couple of months ago, and has begun her classes. Agnes is onto a full college schedule. She is studying as hard as she always have!

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