By Michael Leventhal - Chief Nerdy Development Officer
Aboubacar - iNERDE graduate and roboticist
In 2016 we asked you to help fund scholarships for 30 poor public school students in Mali to attend iNERDE's 5 week summer camp in Bamako, Mali. You responded - in our shortest fund-raising campaign ever we fully funded 30 kids from two schools who had a life-changing experience. We would like to do the same in 2017.
One of those kids was Aboubacar. Aboubacar attends the Public School of Badalabougou in Bamako. When he came to iNERDE's summer camp in 2016 he was a shy boy who had never had a chance to do hands-on science or to touch a computer. He emerged from our camp as real science enthusiast who had learned to program a robot. He was selected for Mali's first National Middle School Robotics Team and successfully completed 3 months of intensive study in robotics and has competed in a robotics hack-a-thon.
Aboubacar was joined on the National Middle School Robotics Team by two of his fellow students from the Public School of Badalabougou, Mama and Adizatou. It has been a challenge for Mama and Adizatou - like Abooubacar last summer, they've found themselves studying side by side with kids from the best schools in Bamako who have enjoyed rich educational environments and comfortable home lives. But these are very determined kids. Mama is the only member of his family able to go to school, his family has placed all their hopes in this brave young man. He appreciates their sacrifice - he works hard and has been first in his class for 8 straight years. Adizatou, a serious young woman, is second - it isn't easy to best Mama. Adizatou faces her own challenges - a girl her age is expected to assume a lot of household chores and childcare in many Malian families. They start falling behind in consequence and many drop out before reaching high school. Adizatou is determined to not let this happen to her and her family is supporting her. Learning robotics has not been easy for her but she successfully completed the program and is ready for more!
We want to have Aboubacar come back again this summer and invite Mama and Adizatou to continue their learning journey with us in STEM camp. And 27 more public school students that have worked hard and will beat the odds if we only can make a small investment in their future. Please consider helping us again to make a profound difference in the lives of these beautiful young people.
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