Two alumnae of Akili Dada’s scholarship program, Winnie Kabunyi and Martha Chumo, recently worked re-connected through The Dev School, founded by Martha.  In this post, Winnie shares her experience.

Working with Martha Chumo at the Dev School has been a very interesting and amazing journey for me. I was a bit intimidated at first by Martha, I won’t lie. Here was someone my own age, creating her own path and doing so well at it. She’s knowledgeable when it comes to, well, almost anything. It was also somewhat of a challenge to me because I too wanted to find “my thing” and what I could do best.

I loved working for The Dev School from day one. I remember on my first day of work, we shot a video for one of The Dev School funders. Here I was, not 100% sure about what The Dev School does, but was shooting a video sharing what The Dev School is and does. I asked Martha if she was sure she wanted me to do it and she was like, ‘sure. It’s nothing hard….” and went on to explain to me how I’d go about it. Working with Martha is always an adventure because the approach is that we can do anything that we set our minds to, which means I would end up doing any number of things on a given day.  I loved it.

One of the things that Martha told me was that I was not there to just work for her, but she wanted me to grow as a person. She started by asking me what I loved doing as a person. I told her writing, so she let me lead our communications. I was able to do everything from writing press releases, blogs, and emails to coming up with content for her website. I did not know how to do most of those things at first, but Martha always says, ‘The internet is your friend. Google it”. She was right. I found it strange when she told me “thank you” for doing my work, but it also felt nice and was so motivating to know that I was seen and appreciated.

Being at The Dev School also challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and do things that I am not accustomed to. I remember helping Martha create her website. I knew nothing about coding, but she encouraged me to be part of it. And I can comfortably say, I am capable of creating a website. It always feels good to say that. I am not the best speaker and whenever I am asked to speak in front of people, I feel as if I might faint. But through my interactions with the students, I realized that I have it in me to speak in public.

It has been a wonderful experience. I have met people I never thought I would meet, interacted with some of the smartest youth I’ll ever know, done things I never thought I was capable of doing, and amassed a whole lot of new knowledge. I was humbled when Martha asked me to continue working with her even when I resume school.

Thank you Akili Dada for connecting me with Martha. It was awesome!