Life at Gashora
Profile of a Gashora StudentOne of the most common misconceptions that volunteers hold is an underestimation of the students.
To date, 93% of GGAST graduates have continued on to university, an extraordinary accomplishment given that Rwanda and throughout East Africa, the percentage, especially for girls, is typically less than 5%. Over the last six graduating classes, over $45 million has been awarded in scholarships in the U.S. and Canada with at least one GGAST alumna having attended each Ivy League school.
GGAST is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) school, with a curriculum that compares to the U.S. Advanced Placement program. We are a government aided school, which has become part of the fabric of the Rwandan culture and economy, focusing on empowering the country’s next generation of leaders. As the forerunner in education in Rwanda, GGAST focuses on educating and supporting the “whole girl” through strong college-prep academics, health and nutrition, social and emotional development, and extracurricular programs. As a STEM school, our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation has nurtured students to become leaders in the country in academic and entrepreneurial achievements.
Since opening our doors, GGAST has enrolled girls from 29 of Rwanda’s 30 Districts and has included students from Burundi and 2 students from Somaliland, creating the most socio-economically diverse school in Rwanda and arguably all of East Africa. GGAST alumnae continue their education at exemplary universities around the world in preparation to return to Rwanda, continuing the mission of RGI, to help lead and transform the nation. These young women will be the next generation of scientists, social entrepreneurs, advocates and thought leaders, who will bring solutions to the biggest global challenges we face.
Stella-Noella Tetero interest in engineering was fueled by a desire to defy the norms and “prove her worth”, but she soon realized that engineering was one of her passions in life. “I loved the fact that every piece of information I received raised more questions, and I wanted to be part of the people who try to find solutions,” Tetero says. “Finding these solutions often raises even more problems, but that is part of the beauty of engineering. Ways to make the world better still humble us as human beings who cannot fix all the flaws in the world.” She says of studying at Columbia University, “Being constantly surrounded at SEAS by such brilliant individuals in different fields instills a certain competition, not the bad kind of wanting to prove who has the upper hand, but the kind that brings out the best in each of us and makes us want to go as far as we can in whatever we’re passionate about.”
Beatrice, class of 2013, didn't see a clear picture of how to make her dreams come true of being a doctor before coming to Gashora. Through her time at GGAST she came to appreciate different perspectives and know that “regardless of our differences we could all come together and enjoy each other’s company.” This has helped her at McGill University where she received one of the best scholarships in the world—the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship. “College has been challenging and inspiring, full of ups and downs, but one of great successes. Just like the bonds that pulled me through GGAST, the bonds I have made in college will pull me later in life, and I cherish that.” She is pursuing a degree in Biological, Biomedical and Life Sciences program, which will equip her with the skills to fulfill her dreams. “I know great things are awaiting. I see myself making an impact on my country, helping families achieve greater freedom from the constraints of poverty and disease, empowering them to live healthier lives. I look at the Gashora Girls of the past and future, and I can confidently say our future, our families’ and our nation’s future is bright, for the greatness Gashora Girls have in them will be carried into their next generation.”