Osborn Ng’imor ’18

Osborn Ng’imor ’18 “grew up in Pokot County, one of the most impoverished regions in Kenya. I attended Chepareria Primary School, [which] lacked enough resources and performed poorly [on a] national scale,” especially in English language proficiency. “Unfortunately, students in Chepareria Primary school and other schools in the region still suffer the same challenges….At the end of [their schooling], most of them cannot qualify admission to public colleges in Kenya. As a result, students are trapped in a life of poverty.” In order to break this cycle in his home community, Osborn proposed a project to create a public library in Chepareria Primary for the benefit of students and adult community members alike.

In collaboration with teachers and the school board, Osborn selected textbooks and English-language practice materials, created a schedule for Chepareria Primary students to efficiently use the library, and marketed library resources to students of all age levels. He used the funding from the McKinley Fellowship to purchase books and other resources to stock the library. Osborn was also careful to consider community input: “Throughout the project, I maintained a good working relationship with the teachers. I welcomed their comments and advice about the project.”

Osborn’s project has developed his skills in organization, communication, marketing, and public speaking, and has left a positive impact on his community: “Teachers at Chepareria Primary School have seen improvements in English writing and general performance. The number of secondary school students and college students visiting the library is increasing.”