How a rare moment of defiance led one Kenyan girl to Yale University - The Sauce
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Campus

How a rare moment of defiance led one Kenyan girl to Yale University

Prev1 of 3
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

 

esther prof

Esther Soma, First year student at Yale University

The one single moment Esther Soma went against her parent’s wish, unimaginable opportunities opened in ways she never thought were possible. At only 20 years, Esther has met and interacted with world leaders and global entrepreneurs and is studying at a prestigious Ivy League University.

 

Growing up in a Christian household in Kenya, disobedience was not a habit that was particularly encouraged. Education standards are highly esteemed (two of her siblings are doctors).

 

But Esther applied to the Africa Leadership Academy (ALA) while still at Alliance Girls against her parents’ wish for her to finish her high school first before pursuing other interests.

 

“You would rather try and fail rather than live with regrets,” says Esther – a mantra she has lived by.

 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Affable, disciplined and self-effacing, Esther wouldn’t be described as a rebel. But just this one time, she went with her gut feeling and got admitted to the prestigious academy.

 

ALA is a premier pan-African secondary institution based in South Africa that admits only talented and outstanding students from all over Africa. So getting in is not a matter of connections or how rich your parents are.

 

“The recruitment process was rigorous. Over 200 Kenyan students applied but only 40 were short listed to go through the interview process,” explains Esther, who was born in Kenya but whose parents’ are South Sudanese.

 

“The recruiters don’t just look at your academic performance, although that is important. We had face-to-face interviews, wrote essays, participated in simulated situations under close observation and other cognitive and creative tests,” says Esther.

 

At some point during the six-month long recruitment process, the candidates were asked to introduce themselves using an object or build paper towers in teams to test their team spirit.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

 

Only 10 got admission to ALA and Esther was on the list. Not a small achievement for a girl that sat her KCPE at St. Mary’s Ruaraka.

 

Extraordinary at an exceptional institution

Apparently, according to Esther, an admission of 10 candidates from one country is really high.

 

“Kenyans (students) are really strong compared to other African countries. I think it’s the education system…but students from Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco and Zimbabwe are also good.”

 

So as she was just about to sit for the KCSE mocks, Esther left for South Africa for her A-level studies at ALA to join 90 other African students from 43 different countries for two years.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

 

“Apart from the normal A-level American curriculum, we had additional classes like entrepreneurship, leadership and African studies,” expounds Esther.

 

Prev1 of 3
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse
4 Comments

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Some More Sauce...

Lifestyle

Kenyans on Twitter woke up to an explicit video that has since gone viral. In the video, a woman who is known on social...

Da Squeeze

Kenyan beauty Tanasha Donna Oketch recently opened up about her life. The 24 year old former radio presenter, musician and mother of one is...

Featured

Ugandan TV journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala’s face has got to be one of the memed faces of 2019.   But how did this Ugandan...

Da Squeeze

Kenya has a robust matatu culture and some people around the world love it. Award winning American singer and dancer Chris Brown yesterday (23.03.20)...

Da Squeeze

Kenyans on Twitter are not to be messed with, they bring guns to a knife fight. The hard-hitting K.O.T recently got into a Twitter...

Featured

The Free Mason society is known to be secretive and very private, but not anymore it may seem. The Freemason society based in Nairobi...

Da Squeeze

Bongo star Harmonize launched his latest album over the weekend and his former boss Diamond Platnumz is on the frontline cheering him on. Wasafi...

Da Squeeze

Famed comedian and radio host Jalang’o hosted John Otieno “Owago Onyiro” Byron, on YouTube for a candid discussion on his ventures in comedy and...