Staff Spotlight: Ruth
Ruth is a teacher and dorm mother at Heritage Primary School. Hers is literally a 24/7 job, so we caught up with her during a break during the school day to learn more about her experience at Heritage.
Ruth first learned about Heritage Academy after she walked passed the school property. When she inquired about the school with friends, they recommended she reach out to the school about job opportunities. It was then that she met Margaret and interviewed for a job at the school.
A sponsor provided Ruth the opportunity to receive her teaching certificate from Heritage Teacher’s College, and since receiving her certificate, Ruth has earned her Bachelor’s degree from a university. Ruth’s goal is to ensure young children are nurtured in the classroom to grow into empowered young men and women. Her focus is especially on empowering young women. She wants them to see the importance of education and that life continues after secondary school. She’s trying to impart that message to her students at Heritage.
Ruth loves the environment, people, and her job as a teacher at Heritage. But she also loves her job as dorm mother to 55 seventh- and eighth-grade girls at the Heritage primary dorm. Her days start early getting up with the girls and making sure they get out to their classes. Then she’s off to teach for the day. After a day of class, she comes back to the dorm and helps girls with their homework and spends quality time with them. After the girls are in bed, Ruth studies for her classes. She has dorm meetings with the girls every Sunday to discuss any challenges they may be having. The relationships she has with the girls in the dorm are important to her, and she said the girls look to her like an older sister because she encourages them to share things with her.
Ruth grew up in the area with two older brothers and four younger sisters and brothers. Her father is a volunteer Catholic pastor who works some odd jobs to help provide for the family. Ruth’s mother is a teacher in a private school. One of Ruth’s older brothers did well in high school and hopes to still attend a university at some point. Her younger siblings are all still in school. They attend Catholic school because they have scholarships as a result of their father’s pastor status.
Ruth says that Heritage gave her hope and a bridge to her future by providing the opportunity for her to earn her teaching certificate. She thought her life was over after she graduated from high school because her family couldn’t afford to send her to college. Heritage has afforded her opportunities she didn’t think would be possible for her and for that she is grateful. She’s also happy to see similar impacts on the girls in her classroom and in the dormitory. “Many in Kenya, especially girls, see no future because they have no help. Some women get married because they feel that is their only option and unfortunately many have miserable lives. Their struggles result because of a lack of educational opportunity,” she says. But Heritage changes that cycle for so many girls, and she couldn’t be happier: “We have nothing to give but a thank you from our hearts.”