Ann’s Story

I was born in Ruiru and my parents came from Thika. After my parents passed away I was taken to Tereza Nuzzo Children`s Home in 2000, where I had the chance to attend a top primary school. The challenge was always how to pay the school fees, but I thank God my school fees were paid for by the owner of the home.

In 2006, I joined the Global Give Back Circle. At the time, I did not know what it was about, but I felt something good was coming. I can now state, with confidence, that my life has never been the same again. For me, it has really been a journey of transformation.

This journey began in high school with my mentor, Catherine Griffin, from the USA. When I think back, I first remember vividly the difficulties I had in writing letters to her. Fortunately, I was soon able to improve on my writing skills. Along the way, I also received workshop traininghree times a year, including reproductive health and financial literacy. Through the guidance of our instructors and facilitators, I started developing confidence, slowly improving my communication skills and learning to think bigger and better.

I began using these skills to communicate with my mentor, Catherine, who has always been there for me, encouraging me in many ways. We have a very strong and lovely relationship, which I describe simply as ‘awesome.’ She is such an amazing woman in my life! We communicate several times a month and truly share a lot with one another.

I was so grateful the day KCDF, the implementation organization of the Global Give Back Circle in Kenya, told me that I would receive a scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation and Microsoft, to a 9-month ICT Lab, where my peers and I received ICT skills and invaluable life-skills. This helped me master the Microsoft applications and get my Microsoft Certifications. I also improved my communication skills, and learned how to repair computers. It also brought us together as a community of girls, to learn from one another, as we lived as “sisters” together in an adjacent dormitory.

The biggest blessing throughout this time was being told that upon graduation from the ICT Lab, I would also have a sponsor for college. It was the happiest day of my life!

This is how my new family became a part of my life…the Tierney family, an amazing family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA. They made the decision to sponsor my college education. I am so grateful!  As a family, they communicate with me each month. Maureen specifically has been like a mother to me. We are having the best relationship, sharing a lot and writing to each other several times a month. I am blessed with two mentors in my life, Catherine and Maureen.

When I look back at my journey, being part of the Circle truly transformed my life. Everything the program provided has been useful in my transformation, whether the workshops I attended, the mentorship I received, or the IT skills I acquired.

I am now studying for my Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance Option) after having completed a diploma in Business Management section II of the CPA exam.

Today, I strongly believe I am amongst the leaders of tomorrow. As I receive, I shall also give. This is the greatest opportunity we have and we are so very proud of being able to give back so much of what we have been given.

As a way of giving back, and of my appreciation, I have committed my time to mentor girls at the orphanage where I grew up.  I walked in their shoes when I was their age. I know what they are feeling and the kind of love and encouragement they need.

I am also grateful to be working as an Intern and Product Advisor at the Bank of Africa. This has been an incredible opportunity, which has enabled me to gain an immense amount of experience.  I love my job and my co-workers.

I would like to give my greatest appreciation to my mentors, Catherine and Maureen. Thank you for supporting me. I believe through your support, I am moving far; through your leadership, I am moving from beneficiary toward becoming a benefactor of tomorrow.

– Ann