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The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) recently hosted Africa Science Week in Rwanda. This 35 country tour is led by NEF Ambassadors and local science and technology champions. These seven day events are created to promote STEM education and careers.

We are proud that four or our students were winners of the Essay contest on on to redefine the classroom and make science "cool."

Additionally, Crystal Rugege, the Director of Strategy at Carnegie Mellon Africa, won Woman of the Year for Leadership in Science. Crystal spoke on October 14 at the 2018 Gashora Girls Academy graduation.

Gashora Girls Academy student, Mazimpaka Christelle, defines writing as a tool that can be used by Africans to reach their success. Christelle writes to express herself and believes that science becomes more useful when combined with the reality of life. She appreciates that fact that although she is at a STEM school, GGAST encourages students to find their passions and their voice as part of the whole-girl education. She recently wrote a poem shared below.

A Word To Say

by Christelle Mazimpaka

"A word to a wise is enough" A wise man said

A word is a simple combination of alphabets that brings up a definition

Or a content that is related to what you say

A word matters a lot to us

A word made you and me

A word made the world

Our majesty God himself in heaven used a word for us to be us

A word is crucial and essential

It ensures that you ensured to be exposing

your abilities and inabilities more so one's personality

A word can be good or bad according to how you let it be

And ways you say it

A word can build, strengthen, affect and destroy so many things irrespective of the size or length

It can dismantle, degrade no matter how sweet it sounds

The same a word can heal wounds or rewound them

This word! Brings up conflicts that at times end hurting one another simply a word!

A word might be small according to one's perspective

I have realized that no matter how small something might be

that something is made up of other small things

A word can either come from the deepest point of your heart

or from the back of your mind

A word from thought or word from tongue but still "A word"

These carry different content and concepts

"The problem of many is that we don't listen to understand but to reply."

A word to say should be constructive to bring up wonderful changes

As well as to build up intrapersonal sense

because we are intellectual, educated, respective and beautiful ladies and mothers of tomorrow

A wise man said, "A word to a wise is enough."

Board Member, Kimberly Mecham, and Gashora Girls Academy, Benjamin Kuradusenge, had the privilege of attending the invite only, Microsoft Education Exchange conference in Singapore. The educators invited were chosen from a pool of 8,000 applicants. Singapore was chosen as the host country due to its highly regarded education system.

The purpose of the event was to provide opportunity for the amazing educators to collaborate and learn from each other in order to provide the best learning opportunities for their students. Benjamin is an amazing ICT teacher at GGAST who sparks creativity and curiosity in our students. He seeks to continuously learn and is always embracing modern teaching in order to create an innovative and immersive experience for our students.

The photo is Benjamin sharing how he uses

Benjamin is sharing how he uses Raspberry Pi, a small single-board computer whose purpose is to teach basic computer science in developing countries, with Ss to detect water levels in the soil at our farm to help with irrigation.

Congratulations Kimberly and Benjamin!

Today, all of us at Rwanda Girls Initiative (RGI) and GGAST, pause to express gratitude to Peter. He moved to Rwanda in May of 2010, with a suitcase full his favorite breakfast cereal, a bottle of scotch and a jar of salsa. Over the next seven months, Peter worked tirelessly to hire and train the faculty and staff, assist with admissions and open the school in January 2011. Not only did he help us implement our lofty vision, but he helped us create a culture of "the sky's the limit"! Peter navigated countless relationships and situations with class and sensitivity, and with humility and honesty when we made mistakes along the way. He joined us in celebration as we watched the first class receive their diplomas in 2013. After 4 ½ years living in Rwanda, in 2014 Peter returned to Seattle as the first Executive Director of RGI.

This year Peter is retiring after a heroic 38-year career as an educator. He can be proud to know the spirit of excellence and rigor that is alive and well at our school, is without a doubt, the legacy that Peter leaves behind.

To honor Peter's passion as an educator, we created The Peter Thorp Award that will be given each year to an outstanding teacher at GGAST. His love for teaching and education has inspired countless students and teachers alike and Peter's legacy will live on in the accomplishments of our students and teachers -both in academics and in their community.

Carrying the torch for RGI is an important responsibility and identifying Peter's successor was a decision that our Board considered thoughtfully. With nine years of extraordinary success under our belts we wanted to continue our momentum, as well as build out our strategic plan that will guide us through the next 25, 50, 100 years.

We are delighted to be welcoming Hillary Carey as the new Executive Director for Rwanda Girls Initiative. In anticipation of this transition, Hillary has spent the past year shadowing Peter; deepening her understanding of the organization's history, operations, needs and aspirations. Prior to joining RGI, Hillary was the CEO of Camp Korey, a non-profit dedicated to providing support to children and families with serious medical conditions. As the first employee of Camp Korey, Hillary helped establish the nonprofit, building out is programming, operations, partnerships, and fundraising. During her time with the organization, Camp Korey served over 19,000 children. We are thrilled to continue to move RGI forward with Hillary in the lead.

Please join us in thanking Peter Thorp for his years of tremendous contributions and welcoming Hillary Carey to RGI.

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