I couldn’t be more proud…

I was sitting on the sofa just now keeping the dynamic duo secured against falling into the cushions and I went to check my mail. There was a message from John, the young professional in Kenya that I have been working with as a mentor over the past year.  I want to share it just the way he wrote it because I have tears of joy and pride in my eyes at this moment.

Hello Caroline,

I lack words to share my excitement and gratitude to you for your support and encouragement throught the application process. I finally made it. The next steps are preparing and looking for financial aid which I am hoping to get.

The admission letter reads;
“Dear : JOHN

Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program at Carnegie Mellon University Africa in Rwanda.

Classes will begin on Monday 28 August 2017. In preparation for the program, we are asking all new students to participate in an MSIT Orientation Program during the first four weeks before formal classes begin. The MSIT Orientation Program will begin on Monday 31 July 2017. ”

I hope to talk to you on Sunday as tomorrow I will be at work. Thank you once more and mostly for believing in me. 😁

Warm Regards,

John

When we first came into contact, it was the first month after Raven died and I was deeply in need of a new project to find my way through the unbelievable idea that my son was gone. The Africa Talent Bank had requested volunteers through my work and I jumped in. I’ve learned a great deal this past year from our regular weekly contact. It’s funny, when Raven and I met, he would introduce me to people with the following description “This is Caroline. She’s my dementor” like in Harry Potter. It was adorable and I think it fit pretty well 😉

With John, it’s a different type of connection, of course. It’s still a mixture of life experience, common sense, encouragment, listening and sometimes asking the tough questions. Mostly it is a chance to watch someone grow and that’s what really means the most to me, that I get to see this young man work his way through to where he wants to be.

I spent the first half of today talking to Data Science students. What’s interesting is that they were all wearing sensors – to collect data about how long they stayed in locations and to see what the patterns were – and they spent a great deal of time waiting to talk to me. Not because of me but because of where I work and they are curious. While I was talking to several of them, I realized how much I wanted to remind them to stay curious, be open and find something that they love to do. It is really important because creativity drives innovation and you need to be open to let your creativity grow. Being in this new job has unlocked mine for sure. Then during the formal presentation, which I only delivered the start of, it went quickly into standard mode and reinforcing the image of constructs and defined role titles. That was unfortunate. On the way home, I wondered if my ideas about where I work were completely wrong. Then I realized no, they weren’t, what’s different between myself and the other presenter is that I look at things differently, I am not looking for the opportunities to fit in but rather to find the risks.

It was a relief to tell myself that I wasn’t slipping in my pending old age 😉 I’m off to practice my banjo, having been super inspired by Hayseed Dixie last night with GG. We talked to the banjo player after the show and he told me that I needed to play everyday even if only for 5 minutes. They were amazing and I think that playing Rockgrass is a way forward for me!

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