Ashinaga Scholars: A Day in the Life (Part 2)

November 10, 2016 —  On one of his first few days at Clark University, Alex was walking on a sidewalk when he heard something unexpected: his native language. He recently began his freshman year at Clark University, an innovative liberal arts school in Worcester, Massachusetts. It didn’t take him long to meet and connect with fellow Kenyans, whom he now calls friends. One even has become an informal math tutor.


Alex is the 2015 Ashinaga scholar from Kenya, hailing from Nyahururu Village, several hours northwest of Nairobi. He lost his mother to pneumonia when he was three years old and was subsequently raised by his grandparents. From an early age, he excelled in school. He was the top student in his primary school, which earned him a spot at the Nairobi School, one of the best secondary schools in the country. He was selected by Ashinaga in 2015 as the only student from Kenya.


Academically Alex is doing very well. His favorite course so far is Math because it challenges him to “apply critical thinking and logic due to its complex nature.” He is being proactive in managing the academic transition, frequently joining study groups, meeting with professors, and reaching out to Ashinaga staff for advice. Alex initially was planning to major in computer science, but after spending some time at Clark he now thinks that political science may be a better fit.


Despite the heavy academic workload, Alex has found time to engage in meaningful non-academic activities. He has taken several trips to Boston and also has spent time in Connecticut and New York. He continually sets aside time to speak to his grandmother in Kenya, his uncle in South Africa, and his friends across the world. He has even found time to engage in spirited debates about one of his favorite subjects — international development — with fellow Clarkies.


Like he has for so long, Alex continues to excel, both in and out of the classroom. Ashinaga USA is excited to continue journeying with him for the next 3.5 years and beyond.