As we continue our Week of Gratitude, we take you to the continent of Africa!
LCP is helping prepare the country’s students for the jobs of the future. It was formed in partnership with the State of Illinois in 2013 to provide Liberian youth with opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in key economic sectors, including agriculture. Their work and partnership with the Prairie State – and the Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University in particular – continues to this day.
I’d like to introduce you to Binta Jallof from Monrovia, a student benefiting from LCP who shared her story. It’s hard not to be inspired by the organization’s work and her future aspirations.
P.P.S: We are also grateful for these other organizations and the work they do:
- One Solution Global
- Alignment Rockford
- Be the Match
- Chicago Scholars
- Faith Coalition for the Common Good
My mother has no education and she sells local produce in the general market. My father has very little education and he works as a security guard. They both tell me that education is important but as a child, I can’t see too much further beyond them. My older brother didn’t graduate high school and is unemployed still at home with us. My older sister has two children and she helps my mother with market. I was always thinking that wherever I stop in school, I can join them to help with the market.
School itself has been difficult because there are lots of supplies that I need but I do not have. Sometimes even getting through each day with enough food is hard. I am doing well in my lessons, but I never think I am going too far in school because I can’t see where school is taking me. There are many people in my country who have education but they don’t have jobs.
About two years ago my friends invited me to the Career Clubs at my school. The clubs were established by Liberia Career Pathways. At first, I attended because of my friends but then later I got personally interested. They were teaching us good things about career paths and how to make an intelligent career choice that have jobs after finishing school.
By the end of the first year, I began to think that I don’t have to help my mother and sister with selling fruits and vegetables in the general market. I started thinking that since doctors are short in Liberia, I can become a doctor to help lots of people. During the Ebola crisis, I knew people that died, and I felt bad for my whole country.
So, since we were discussing all these things in my career club, I thought I can be a good doctor. Our club leader told us that to be a doctor you have like the science subjects. I love biology and chemistry and I have good grades in them. So, I think being a doctor will be a good thing for me and I will help plenty of people and my own country.
In July and August this year we attended a vacation program that was put together by Liberia Career Pathways. During the program I learned a lot more and confirmed that being a doctor will be a good thing for me to do. The program was really good and encouraging. They helped me to see beyond my parents and my sister and brother. I think I will make the difference, then my very young niece and nephew can see a different example in our family.
I am very thankful to Liberia Career Pathways for opening my eyes to see far beyond the example I see all around me. I will pray and work hard to become a doctor one day. Thank you, Liberia Career Pathways, for helping to open my mind. Please make the program strong and expand to reach more students. In my school, more students are joining our career club and the director is talking about having two different groups.