“Passion Is My Driving Force”: An Update on Laurine and John, Scholarship Recipients January 13, 2015  by      

John_Working_2_Caitlin_Kleiboer [web res]

Photo by Caitlin Kleiboer.

It’s been awhile since we last heard from the first recipients of Carolina for Kibera’s Alan Cross Memorial Scholarship, Laurine Oloo Otawa and Antony John Mwaura. The new year encouraged CFK staff to reach out to Laurine and John to see how they are doing, ask about challenges and accomplishments, and learn about what’s on their horizons. And both of them have certainly been busy.

After transitioning from a degree in Clinical Medicine to a degree in Nursing, John has been studying diligently at the Tumu Tumu School of Nursing, located in central Kenya. He’s currently in his second year, and has had to adjust to more in-depth and vigorous classes. Sometimes, he admits, he has opted to sacrifice free time on weekends to accommodate the demands of the program. He continues undeterred, saying, “Passion, character, and attitude have been my driving force in the pursuit of my education.”

In addition to his coursework, John was also awarded a Medical Placement in the Karatina District Hospital near where he attends college. He will volunteer in this program for 3 months, where his daily activities include attending to clients as their medical professional, while under supervision of a resident doctor. He says the experience of attending to clients is both humbling and fulfilling. He has plans to graduate in May 2017.

Laurine Oloo Otawa - Jan 2015Unlike John, who will be in school for a couple more years, Laurine has plans to graduate in December of this year! Currently, she’s finishing up her degree at the Technical University of Kenya, where she is pursuing a Diploma in Technology Health Records and Information Technology. Laurine was awarded the Alan Cross Memorial Scholarship in 2012 after she began working at the Tabitha Clinic as a janitor to start saving money for college. Now, in addition to working on the janitorial staff, she puts her training to work at the clinic by managing several patient records, volunteering five days a week.

Balancing so many responsibilities can be exhausting, but Laurine believes being flexible and versatile are key to working at the clinic, managing patient records, studying for classes, and spending time with family. “My education has opened up new challenging opportunities that I am more than happy to take on,” she says. There is no doubt that when she graduates at the end of 2015 that she will be ready to take on more challenging opportunities during the next phase of her career.

To read more about Laurine and John, click here.

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