Creating Educational Opportunities
in Underserved Communities
Kristin believed that education is the means by which learners of all ages reach their full potential. She was particularly passionate about creating opportunities for young people in communities with limited educational and financial resources. In the Kavango, a remote area of northern Namibia where she taught, poverty and caring for orphan children combine to leave families without means of paying school fees. As a result the area was minimally represented in post secondary schools. Here in the US Kristin volunteered for a conflict resolution project in elementary schools in inner city Detroit. In addition she embraced the opportunity to work with the foundation specialists at Providence St. Mel School on Chicagoís west side to procure the funds needed to prepare its learners for success in top tier colleges.
The purpose of Creating Educational Opportunity grants is to inspire students to become their very best and open doors for students with limited financial means. The following examples highlight some of our past grant recipients.
Grant Highlight: Saint Boniface College
At St. Boniface College (SBC), in Sambyu, Namibia, a remote village on the banks of the Okavango River, over 60 scholarships for ninth through twelfth graders have provided tuition, room and board and examination fees. Many learners have held scholarships for all four years of their secondary studies. Kristin extended her placement at SBC for a second year to do all she could to prepare twelfth graders to take the first national exam to be written by learners at the school. Since that time, SBC learners have continually received regional and national accolades for first and second place finishes in national examinations. The efforts of many and the dedication of the learners themselves from this impoverished area, many of whom are orphans, has earned their access to successful matriculation to tertiary educational settings previously unavailable to students from the Kavango.
Grant Highlight: Post-Secondary Scholarships
SBC graduate Phillip, one of Kristinís students, elected to enroll in Rundu Vocational Training Center. KLSF provided tuition and tools required for this dedicated student in the Auto Mechanics program. When Phillip graduated KLSF assisted him with purchase of materials to build his auto shop. He now runs a successful business, which supports his extended family as well as several apprentices. He is a respected member of his community and is sought out by others for his thoughtful counsel.
Women are well represented among the learners who have grasped the opportunity to improve their lives and that of their families with KLSF grants. After graduating from SBC, Annastasia was the first in her family to receive a college degree; she majored in Travel and Tourism at Polytechnic of Namibia. Nathalia prepared herself at Rundu Vocational Training Center in the Auto Electric degree curriculum.
Petrus, a high school teacher in Rundu, attended Stellenbosch University in South Africa using a KLSF grant, which prepared him to contribute to curriculum development in his region.
Grant Highlight: Providence St. Mel SOAL Program
KLSF provides grants to the Summer Opportunity of a Lifetime, SOAL, so that students from Providence-St. Mel on Chicagoís west side can participate in immersion language learning programs at International Language Villages in Minnesota.
Grant Highlight: Camp of Dreams
Camp of Dreams operates programs for underserved eight to 18 year olds in Chicago. KLSF provides a grant that enables students to participate in year-round, bi-monthly tutoring and enrichment classes as well as a summer away camp.