By: Jeanette Green

The youngest of 7 children, Upile exudes joy from her smile, her laughter, and her contagious enthusiasm. At 14 years old, she is working through grade level 7, lives with her mom and dad, and has her sights only on school! In fact, when many students are asked what they would be doing if they couldn’t attend school, many report the type of work they would be doing. Not Upile! She answers, “I could have gone for assistance to return back to school.” Clearly she is determined to do whatever is necessary to reach her goals.

Motivated by her brother who is a police officer, Upile wants to gain her education and become a soldier. Her favorite subjects are English and math – not because they are fun or she enjoys it necessarily – but because they are required for admittance to the university. When she imagines traveling, she thinks of going to America so she can further her studies. Upile is goal-oriented, full of passion and excitement, and driven. Quite frankly, we love it! She is the type of child who, when given the right circumstances, will change the world. Upile didn’t need to leave her village to find something better. She needed a new foundation – a classroom – to meet her right where she is. And that one classroom is giving her a new and bright hope that she can achieve all she wants. This classroom hasn’t just changed her. She proudly tells us, “I am getting encouragement from my family. Sometimes they say, ‘We want your future to be as beautiful as the new block at your school.’” How incredible is that?

Upile is an example to the students around her and to her family members she serves each day. Whether she’s out playing netball with her friends, helping on the farm, or guiding a sibling through their school work, Upile puts her heart in all she does. She is reaping the rewards of her hard work, but we most definitely look forward to seeing her future unfold as she pushing onward, step by step, with that big, bright, beautiful glow of confidence!