I grew up in Kang’oma village with limited opportunities. I knew the only way to succeed was to attain higher education. My aspirations, and those of my fellow Kang’oma youth, were threatened because our parents could not financially manage the fees to attend good high schools and college. We would admire those people who received sponsorships for education. Thankfully, my faith in God kept my hope strong that as long as I worked hard I would one day live my dreams.
My dream of attaining college education materialized when I met Louise A. Sutton, a native of Biddeford, Maine, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kang’oma and surrounding villages in Malawi. Over her two-year stay, Louise fell in love with the community and nation at large and wanted to serve beyond her Peace Corp contract. Louise personally sponsored many young people to attend high schools in Malawi. Upon noticing my dedication to family, love for church, teaching children, and determination to overcome the obstacles of poverty and illiteracy, Louise offered me a two-year sponsorship to attend Southern Maine Community College. I then got a scholarship to complete my bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Maine-Orono. I would later earn my master’s degree in public policy and management as well as statistics. Since 2010, I have been coordinating educational empowerment programs through School of H.O.P.E., an organization founded by Louise Sutton that assists elementary school children with school supplies, mentoring, and tutoring services.
It was planted in my heart that having attained my dream, I would have to help young people in my village receive a quality education, realize their dreams, and be stakeholders in developing Malawi.
In 2010, I was privileged to volunteer in Malawi with Steve and Cindy Chartier, who quickly became my wonderful new parents. After seeing the challenges young people of Kang’oma village and throughout Malawi face to attain education, Steve and Cindy in collaboration with their friends in New Hampshire established a high school scholarship program, which would become Good Soil Partners. Serving on the Good Soil USA board is a humbling duty that has offered me a pivotal platform to reach out to young people whose dreams were similar to mine. These young people now the opportunities to achieve their passions and hopefully help in the eventual development of Malawi. One key aspect I cherish about Good Soil is that all students are encouraged not only to attain high quality education, but more so to think deeper on what they want to do with that education to make Malawi and beyond a better place.
I teach statistics and algebra at the University of Southern Maine and Deering High School as well as mentor and tutor youth in Malawi, train Malawian community leaders on data-driven management/leadership. I love spending time with my wife, Frida, gardening with our daughters, Louise and Divine, visiting with family and friends, and enjoy outdoor activities.