Jimmy Tune was one of our first AiduFellows who was awarded a scholarship by Aiducation International. We checked in with Jimmy to find out what he has been up to since graduating from secondary school.

And he had a lot of great news to share, like the fact that he himself has been elected this spring to chair a board that supports needy tertiary students financially. We were curious to find out how Jimmy accomplished this success, what drives him, and what he aims to achieve in the future. The following postings summarize Jimmy’s story and thoughts he was willing to share with us via email. This first posting is about his life in school, a second one which will follow shortly will cover more about his future, studying at University and his strong commitment to helping others.

Life before Aiducation

Jimmy Tune had always enjoyed school and was dreaming of going to the best secondary school in Kenya and thus worked hard to achieve his dream. When his English teacher, Philip Kenga, talked to him about a project he might join, Jimmy decided to work even harder: “He emphasized on the importance of maintaining my high scores and put extra efforts because only then I would be able to join the program that was yet to start.”

excerpt of Jimmy’s application form

Jimmy’s efforts were soon to be rewarded, he topped in his school on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. However he still was unsure of his future: “It was a moment of celebration for a while but there was the question of joining high school and the incoming high school fees that my family would have to provide.” His parents promised him to do all things necessary to provide the school fees.

It was then when Philip Kenga told Jimmy that he should apply at Pwani Education Welfare Association (later to become Aiducation), an organization he had cofounded to support bright and needy students financially. Jimmy, meeting the requirements, got a scholarship that changed his life: “…the scholarship program would completely transform my life positively, forever. It was an honor that put me always on my toes in my studies besides providing a conductive platform for me to pursue my secondary education without a fees problem anymore.”

Being an AiduFellow

Aiducation not only provides kids with school fees but it also fosters their entrepreneurial spirit and sense for citizenship as well as helping them form a network with like minded students. “The mentorship academy of 2009 was a truly life changing event for me. I got together with students from all over the country to participate in workshops that motivated and energized us in a way none of us had ever experienced before.”

One talk had a particularly remarkable impact on Jimmy: John Olusula’s a speech on how to unleash one’s full potential “…brought out this ‘real me’ that has always been inside of me. This was one of the most inspiring and empowering moments of my life and I will never forget it”. When the academy came to it’s end, Jimmy thought of himself as “…a totally different person ready to follow all his dreams in life”.

This is part one of Jimmy’s story, part two will follow in a few days – stay tuned.

A video right at the beginning of Jimmy’s scholarship

Becoming a part of Aiducation
After finishing secondary school Jimmy was going to go to University. But before he could start his studies at Moi University he had to bridge a gap of about six months. This was the perfect opportunity to do something useful – “…giving back something to society was my top priority. I wanted to say «thank you» and luckily found an opportunity to do so by volunteering for Aiducation.”

A Video of Jimmy and Emmanuel working at the Aiducation chatper in Kenya

Jimmy soon was an invaluable member of the Kenyan team: He assisted in recruiting applicants and organizing mentorship academies, he collected report cards, shot videos and kept records, and sometimes he would be counseling younger Aidufellows. Working for Aiducation he came to realize that investing in someone’s education was an investment for life that never could be compared to any other. “Touching a needy student through education is like planting a whole farm that will not only serve the family but the country at large and generations to come.”

After working half a year with Aiducation Jimmy started at University. Although he had to leave Aiducaton behind he did not want to end his work for the community: “Besides my profession I wanted to realize my talent and work on my passion.”

Finding ways to help others
While at University Jimmy stumbled upon an ad for Rotaract Club of Mombasa. As he could connect with the club’s core values (truth, fairness, friendship, and benevolence) he joined the club to serve the community and further develop his leadership talents. And very soon he would get a once in a lifetime chance to use his knowledge for a good cause.

The Rotary Club of Mombasa decided to initiate a scheme of offering bursary to bright but needy students at colleges and universities worth a total of four Millions Kenya Shillings. The Rotaract Club of Mombasa was given the task of advertising and vetting applicants to the fund. Jimmy should play a significant rule in all of this: “With my vast experience in such operations credited to the experience I have having volunteered for Aiducation, the club members appointed me to chair the club’s vetting committee”.

Jimmy at the Rotaract Club of Mombasa

Jimmy was involved in setting up a transparent and fair vetting process, the creation of a database to handle applicant’s data, and awareness raising: «We went to churches, mosques, and Institutions of higher education to raise awareness for the program.» In the future he and his committee will furthermore be gathering information about the supported student’s progress at University and report on this to the Rotary Club of Mombasa that is funding this program.

Motivation and Dreams
Jimmy already has specific ideas of how to further develop the vetting program. He intends to bring in corporations into the program to be able to bring more resources to needy tertiary students. To nurture the student’s full potential he intends to adapt Aiducation’s concept of mentorship academies: “Having gone through a similar program by Aiducation International gives me firsthand experience of the impact financial support has on a needy student’s life. It provides one of the most important chances to access secondary education, which is a vital stepping stone to the future especially here in Kenya where not many bright needy students can afford the high fees required in the course.”

written by Simon Wüthrich and Jimmy Tune

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