JBFC Graduates: Look How Far We’ve Come

November 25, 2015 5:12 pm Published by

Just days from JBFC’s 1st Secondary School graduation, I can’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come in just five years.

This is JBFC’s Class of 2015, standing in front of our secondary school.
And this is that same class, when they started their first year of secondary school, Form 1 (U.S. equivalent of 8th grade) back in 2012.
These young ladies and young men have come a long way. They’re not just older, but more mature, determined, and confident. And I could say the same thing about JBFC as an organization. The development I see in these students is similar to the trajectory our organization has taken over the last five years.
Back in 2011, we didn’t have a secondary school. Students who wanted to continue their education were studying more or less independently at my kitchen table.
Those were our humble beginnings. A handful of students. Desperate to learn. Basically, teaching themselves with primary school teachers aiding them between their regularly scheduled classes.
In 2012, we took a big leap forward. 
Thanks to the diligence, determination, and generosity of some of our friends, JBFC was able to build a secondary school and hire qualified secondary teachers. 
They say it takes a village, and this truly did. We have friends from Tulsa, OK to Bronxville, NY and a lot in between, who helped make this possible — including a couple of high school students who led a fundraising campaign to build the secondary school brick by brick. 
I am so humbled and grateful for all of the support our friends have showed us over the last five years. You all have shaped the students the Class of 2015 have become.
Once our students had a real school with teachers who were able to truly take their education further they flourished. 
They passed their first secondary national exams in  Form 2 (U.S. equivalent of 9th grade) with flying colors. This was a test for JBFC, as well. It was proof that we could meet the challenges of older students as well as we were rising to the occasion for younger ones.
When the Class of 2015 was in their third year of secondary school, we started looking to the future. They toured a university in Tanzania’s second largest city. They started planning, and dreaming, and studying.
And studying. And studying some more.
This year, these students have poured everything into preparing for this national exam. You can read about all of the extra work they’ve put in over on Seth’s blog. But I have to say, these students have consistently impressed me.
So for those who have supported us, this is what change looks like. This is what you have invested in and made possible through your consistent and generous support.
Our celebration will culminate this week in our graduation ceremony on December 4th. I hope you will join us in spirit for this proud moment. It’s yours to share. And it wouldn’t have been possible without you.
If you would like to show support for our graduates, please consider making a year-end gift to JBFC’s Annual Fund.

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This post was written by Mainsprings