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AWSE-MMUST Chapter Mentors Cardinal Otunga Girls in Bungoma County, Emphasizing STEM, Vision, and Informed Career Choices

The African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE) - Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) Chapter conducted a career mentorship program at Cardinal Otunga Girls High School in Bungoma County on Friday, 5th July 2024. The event, which targeted form two and four students, aimed to inspire and guide the young female students in making informed career choices with a strong emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. The AWSE team, led by Dr. Annette Okoth, was accompanied by key representatives from the Directorate of AIDS Control, Gender, and Disability Mainstreaming (ACGDMU). Together, they also donated sanitary pads to the school, addressing an essential need and reinforcing their commitment to supporting the students’ overall well-being.


A section of MMUST staff during the event.

The Guest Speaker, Prof. Judith Achoka inspired the girls to cultivate a vision for their lives. She urged them to establish personal goals and lead a purpose-driven life, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, working hard, and making the most of their high school years. Prof. Achoka further encouraged the students to focus on their studies, exercise determination, dedication, and discipline, and avoid distractions that could hinder their future success.

“High school is a crucial phase in your academic journey. It is the perfect time to set personal goals and live with purpose. Always maintain a positive attitude, work diligently, and stay focused on your vision. Remember, the choices you make now will shape your future. Stay determined, dedicated, and disciplined, and avoid distractions that could derail your success,” said Prof. Achoka.


Prof. Judith Achoka engaging the girls during the career mentorship event at Cardinal Otunga Girls High School.

Dr. Seline Ooko – Chairperson AWSE- MMUST Chapter, provided a background on AWSE, emphasizing its mission to nurture girls’ interest in STEM subjects and careers. “We want you to become highly learned and sophisticated women in society,” she said, urging the students not to fear science but to embrace it as a pathway to numerous opportunities.

The Secretary AWSE- MMUST Chapter, Dr. Annette Okoth kicked off her session by addressing the students’ preconceptions about career paths versus the realities of the professional world. She highlighted the importance of a well-rounded preparation, stating that while the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) recognizes mathematics as the only compulsory subject, dream careers require a holistic approach to education. She encouraged the students to prepare thoroughly in all subjects to succeed.


Dr. Annette Okoth speaking to the students.

The Chairman Board of Management- Cardinal Otunga Girls, Dr. Ben Wekalao, emphasized the importance of mentorship and practical guidance. He urged the mentors to share their experiences and direct students on how to achieve successful careers. He also praised Dr. Annette’s presentation and reminded the students to be discerning in their career choices and the universities they aspire to join.


The Chairman Board of Management- Cardinal Otunga Girls, Dr. Ben Wekalao during the event.

It is worth noting that the students participated in group mentorship sessions and a practical soap-making workshop led by Mr. Manoah Opanga, the Ag. Principal Technician from MMUST’s School of Natural Sciences.

Other notable members present during the event include Prof. Eng. Bernadette Sabuni, Dr. Lucy Mandillah, Ms. Judy Dipondo, and Ms. Purity Muchere.  

Story and photos by Caren Nekesa and Steven Omondi 

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