Meet Kemkem Ogbuefi, age 16, a Haney Fellowship recipient from Portsmouth Abbey School, Rhode Island, USA. Through her Haney Fellowship, Kemkem spent three weeks teaching a STEM-based curriculum to 14 girls aged 13 – 15 years at Excellent Stephen Academy, Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos, Nigeria. Excellent Stephen Academy is a SEED Alumnus of the SEED Foundation Program.
Growing up in a Nigerian family, Kemkem is no stranger to its rich culture and diversity. Her parents grew up in Enugu, South-East of Nigeria, and they sought to infuse their lives with threads of their West African childhood. After continually seeing first-hand the hardships that many face in Lagos, she was stirred with the desire to work in Nigeria.
This opportunity was truly extraordinary, and though it only lasted a few weeks, I hope it left the same lasting impact on the brilliant girls who participated in the program that it did on me. I would also especially like to thank all of the girls who participated for being so attentive and I am grateful that we were able to grow close throughout these weeks. They are incredibly intelligent young women who have the drive to take them far in life.
Kemkem was inspired by the high numbers of out of school children in Nigeria, pegged at 13.2 million children, with a majority of that number being girls. Her plan was to interact with girls in Lagos, Nigeria, in a way that would emphasize the importance and value of education.
Her goal was to share her passion for science with these girls to help them in their educational journey and to stir up their interests in future science-related professions. This 3-weeks science camp with the theme “Science Rocks” involved teaching the girls the fundamental basics of Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
Following SEEDs Montoring & Evaluation exercise of the program, we met with the 14 girls that participated in the science camp.
According to the girls, the teaching sessions were excellent and are expecting more of such events. They all agreed that the camp has helped to improve their knowledge of the science, especially knowledge of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
About Portsmouth Abbey School
Portsmouth Abbey School is New England’s coeducational Catholic Benedictine boarding school. Unique in its English Benedictine tradition, it offers a challenging academic curriculum rich in mathematics and science and built upon a signature humanities program. Given the School’s small size, students have the opportunity to become leaders and active members of the community. https://www.portsmouthabbey.org
About the Haney Fellowship
The Haney Fellowship was established in 1998 by William “Bill” Haney, III ’80, in honor of his father, the late William Haney, Jr., who lived and worked at Portsmouth Abbey School from 1968 to 1991 as a chemistry teacher, houseparent and golf coach. This creative and generous fund was established to provide Fifth Form students with a unique educational experience during the summer before their Sixth-Form year. Students submit proposals that include a statement of purpose, a description of the program that the applicant wishes to pursue, and a documented estimate of costs. Students focus their plans on a course of study or travel/work experience that significantly furthers an existing academic interest or allows for the pursuit of a specialized opportunity.