My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate. My deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure.” My name is Peace Grace Muhizi Umutesi. I am 19 years old and I study in senior 6 at Liquidnet Family High school at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.  In the past four years, my life has been restored and has regained its rhythm. I think positively and believe strongly in my future. I see far and I will go far. I am studying Mathematics, Economics and Computers. My wish is that after Agahozo-Shalom, I will continue my studies and my dream of becoming a very important person in the world.

Dreamers dream but they also have to wake up and work for their dreams. Agahozo-Shalom is a place where kids get to dream and also work to better their future. All the students at ASYV have visions; some want to be doctors, others want to become engineers and others want to get as far as possible as they can. Without a strong and powerful education they can’t achieve such goals. Agahozo-Shalom provides what is needed for its children to get an efficient and important education that will be the base of their dreams. It gives opportunities through education that will back up students.

As Senior 6 students, we are very busy focusing on our National Exam, which will be at the end of this year. But, we also think about our outside life. We all wish to continue our studies in different areas of the world and share the values of integrity and commitment to the rest of the world. Now, we are asking ourselves how?

We got a chance last week to be visited by some of the best universities in North America that work with the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program including: Michigan State University, Stanford University, University of California- Berkeley, Duke, Wellesley and the University of British Columbia. All of these Universities provide exceptional academic opportunities with a combination of tradition and innovation. Moreover, students have time to do research and develop their minds through joining clubs on campus and going out of the classroom to study.

In addition, there were 10 students who represented Senior 6 and attended a University presentation at the United States Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. I was one of the students selected to attend the event. It was an incredible presentation. We met some other students from area schools, learned details about what is required to earn University scholarships, and the ways we can apply either using the Common Application or some other forms depending on the University. We were all satisfied, especially because Agahozo-Shalom was able to host many University representatives in the Village, but we left these presentations asking ourselves, “What is next?”

Education is extremely important to the Rwandan and African community along with faith and working hard. I can’t quit and say, “Now I am where I want to be.” What we have to do is strive to reach our goals. I will have to take tests like the SAT, ACT, and TOEFL. I have to train myself. All in all, everyone wishes to study at the best Universities, but we can’t all achieve that. Still, we have to work hard for a better future wherever we can, and we need people beside us who can back us up in the process because for those of us who will succeed, it will be because we have people to show us the way.

Submitted by Senior 6 (12th grade) ASYV student, Peace Grace Muhizi Umutesi