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What it takes to get to world's top school

By Ishaq Jumbe | February 4th 2020 at 10:50:00 GMT +0300

Edwin Otieno Ouko

Edwin Ouko won a scholarship to Light Academy Nairobi after hearing of the recruitment from a cousin and decided to give it a try. “I had nothing to lose as my parents were not employed at the time and were really struggling with my brother who was in a local secondary school,” he says.

It was jubilation all around when the youngest in a family of seven won a full scholarship and was admitted at Light Academy Karen Campus. It was here that the young scholar, visiting the capital city for the first time came face to face with what he describes as a totally awesome learning experience.

“I was amazed at the facilities offered at Light Academy Nairobi and I just realized that I had been offered the best available opportunity an ambitious scholar such as myself could hope to get,” he says. “We had cutting edge learning conveniences and I remember comparing our diet to students from national school and realizing that we had been truly blessed,” he adds.

Edwin seized the opportunity by the forelock and did not disappoint. When they announced the results of the 2018 KCSE, he was the third overall in the country and his teachers earnestly embarked on the process of securing an institution that would offer their ambitious former student the best opportunity to realize his potential.

“I wanted a place that was a continuation of what I had come to get used to at Light Academy Nairobi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) fitted the bill. It was a research university that encouraged hands on learning,” he said.

MIT is the world’s top university according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

A few of his friends advised him to manage his expectations by selecting universities that were easy to secure as MIT was too difficult. “However the career and counselling department at his former school assured him that his dreams were valid and he was soon facing the interviewing board of MIT.

“When I mentioned that I had visited four countries over the course of my secondary education as a participant in the International Festival of Language and Culture, an extra-curricular activity I have been participating I since I Joined form 1 at Light Academy, they were impressed enough to give me a spot,” says Ouko.

Today he is a student at MIT on a full scholarship studying Biomedical Engineering.

Ouko says that many look down upon extracurricular activities in school as a waste of time but they are indeed important for the overall learning experience.

“I know that someone paid to give me a break in life and cannot wait to return the favour by giving back to Light Academy.”

Biomedical Engineering MIT
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