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Maseno student heads to the US for global civic program

Diana Rakwach, Student Director of Welfare and Sports in the Students Organization of Maseno University (S.O.M.U)

A 3rd year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Marketing Option student, Ms. Diana Rakwach has been nominated to the prestigious Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) on civic engagement. The program will commence this summer at the Miami University in Hamilton, Ohio from June 29th to August 3rd, 2013.

After a series of interviews conducted by the Dean of Students, Diana who is also a student leader representing Kisumu City Campus College as Director, Welfare and Sports in the Students Organization of Maseno University (S.O.M.U) emerged the overall best student thus winning the trip to the USA.

The SUSI program will cover three distinct areas: civic knowledge, civic skills and civic action. The students will be exposed to an in-depth study of the American political system aimed at introducing local, state and national government structures to build a picture of a functioning democracy. The sessions will also outline the tenets of citizenship and the role and responsibilities of the ‘American birthright’ and to examine the American Civil Rights Movement as a public leadership case study in which participants will learn about community organizing, the impact of citizen action and how democracy allows for social change.

Participants will have a walking tour of the training site and memorial and have interactive afternoon workshops to support the content of morning sessions and strengthen participant’s leadership skills within the context of civic engagement. There will be a number of civic site visits and experiences that complement workshops and course work and the participants will also have time with community leaders and organizers, attend city council meetings, and visit a revitalized Cincinnati neighborhood, the Ohio State House besides meeting elected representatives and taking part in weekly community service experiences with one of the partner agencies.

After the academic and practical foundation, each participant will produce a Civic Action Plan on a comprehensive project that will provide a detailed outline of a public issue important to them and the subsequent applications of the civic skills needed to address the issue in the home country.

In addition to the academic residency at the Hamilton, Ohio campus of Miami University, participants will take part in a conference at Tufts University in Boston and visit Washington DC.

Diana is excited about the nomination and will utilize the opportunity to develop her leadership skills further. She is eyeing national leadership positions in Kenya and therefore the opportunity came the right time. This program is all expense paid for including visa processing, international air ticket and leaving expenses while on the program in the U.S.

Diana who has also been a leader from her early days in school stresses that her greatest motivation is to serve-a perfect vision for the study award candidate!

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