The Aga Khan Academies (AKA) are an integrated network of 18 day and residential schools being established in countries across Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. The Academies aim to develop leaders in their own countries by providing an international standard of education and strong leadership experience to talented students who are selected based on merit, regardless of socio-economic background, race, religion or culture. The talent identification programme identifies highly motivated students, generally in the top 10% of their peer cohort in terms of intellectual ability, who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential.
Maxwin Omondi Ojwang is one exceptional student who was brought to the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, in 2009 through the talent identification programme. Now in his final months of secondary schooling, Maxwin is equipped with the passion, ambition and determination that make him well prepared for anything the future may bring him…
Q How did you come to the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa?
When I was in primary school I felt like I didn’t have a vision. My dad was retrenched, and I knew it would be difficult for me to continue my secondary education and pursue a career at university. But then one of the admission committee members from the Aga Khan Academy came for an interview. I would say I was fortunate to receive the opportunity to be able to attend this school. From that time until today, I’ve done my best to take every opportunity that I get.
Q What kinds of opportunities have you taken advantage of?
The school gave me the opportunity to represent the Academy in the Golden Climate International Competitions in Mombasa where I was able to build an electric generator that was propelled by a magnetic field. I came first in the nationals, then I went on to Nairobi for internationals and I represented Kenya – I came fourth! I’ve also represented the school in many sports, as well as taking opportunities to cooperate with students in leadership positions. I have been the Student Academic Representative in the Student Council and a dorm captain. These opportunities have prepared me to be an effective leader in the future.
Q Looking forward to graduating?
Yeah! From the time I was given the opportunity to join this school in 2009 I’ve had this vision of pursuing civil engineering. It’s a career that I believe can enable me to work with my community and communities around Kenya and other parts of Africa. Basically my goal is to improve the social and economic development that is currently not in good shape in Kenya. It is important for me to graduate so that I can take my career further. But I’ve really enjoyed my time at Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. I feel like I’ve developed and matured and I’m able to be more open-minded – the school has given me an incredible opportunity.
Maxwin is a recipient of a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship to the University of Toronto.