John Akot Akech graduated from HRSS in 2013. He has returned to the campus and is teaching chemistry.
John was as able to find a job after graduation while he saved 80% of his income for a university tuition fees. He explored different options and secured a position to study nursing. John earned a Bachelor of Science at Upper Nile University while working to support himself and pay for his univesity education. This is his story:
How I became a university Graduate
After completing secondary education at Hope and Resurrection – Atiaba in 2013, I had to struggle to make my dreams come true. I revealed my dreams during career guidance in our school when I was asked “what do you want to be in future John?” “I want to be a doctor or nurse,” I replied. I was enthused into the profession by a young medical doctor and a nurse (I don’t remember their names) who were working in Akot hospital. This happen when I felt sick and my parents took me to the hospital for the first time. I was immediately admitted and given treatment. Minutes after being put under a medical management, I open my eyes then and I saw a cannula on my hand and mum was crying. I woke up, wiped tears from her eyes and she began to smile. “Where are we?” I asked. Mum replied that son you were very sick and we brought you to the hospital, thank God that you are alive. I spent three days in the hospital and in the following day the doctor saw that I was okay, and I was discharged to go home. The nurse told me that you love your mum so much. She also encouraged me to study hard to be a better person in the future and take good care of my mum. In her advice, she said that education is the key to a successful life. I listened to her good advice and replied to her that in the future I would be a medical doctor or a health professional to save lives of others and take good care of them. She said that it is a very wise dream but you must first study hard.
On April 2014, our results were out and I came to school to collect my result slip. I tried to search for job opportunities, and I was recruited as a teacher at Riak – Dor Secondary school in Rumbek center in the year 2014. In the same year, I was recruited as a part time teacher at Rumbek National Secondary School as a Chemistry teacher meanwhile in the evening I go to work in the clinic. I went to KCB bank and opened a student account where I saved 80% of all the income with the plan of raising my own tuition fees to go for further studies. After all these scenarios, I thought of going for further studies to attain a university degree, but I ask myself how will I do that when it was very hard for me to go to a secondary school. I held my breath a bit, and I remembered how I got that opportunity to study together with my brother. Then I was also empowered by my school motto: “with God all things are possible.” This made me courageous to seek God through prayers, and I prayed for God almighty to open my path for further studies. I try my best to look for scholarship offers, but I didn’t get any offer for scholarship because senior officials in the government allow only close relatives and their children to get the offer.
On August 2014, the admissions for South Sudan Public University intake were out. I immediately rushed to the ministry to pick up the form for admission. I made six choices for (medicine, nursing, education-biology and chemistry and many more). Among those choices I was admitted for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (a four-year program) at Upper Nile University, and I sponsored myself.
When I started my studies in the University, I manage to pay the tuition fee for two academic years from the amount I saved working. After what was in the bank was used up, I entered into deep financial crisis, and I was unable to pay tuition fee for third year when I only remain with two academic years to complete the program. I tried to look for a job before the University resumes using second year transcript. Luckily, I was called for an interview for the post of clinical nurse, and I was called for night duty. I was also called to be a part-time teacher at Big Ben Secondary school in Juba, and I managed to pay all fees required by the University administration. Although it was very hard to go for studies and work at the same time, I just balanced the time leaving only a little time to rest. Despite all these challenges, I managed to graduate with a first class (division I) degree in our college.
Now I am very thankful to Hope for Humanity Inc. and HRSS administration for the provision of the school to people of South Sudan, especially the hosting community. The school has transformed many people lives including my own that I can attest to.
Suzanne Hicks, Executive Director of Hope for Humanity, Inc., asked HRSS alumni, John Akot Akech, “How does it feel to return to HRSS as a teacher?”
Not bad, we feel very proud of this school as it poured wisdom unto us, so we must return back to the community by teaching more who could follow our foot print.
May God bless you abundantly (Nhialic abï thiei arëtic).