Dominic Otieno: He missed classes for an entire year, but with the help of a good school and committed teachers he was among the top pupils

Imagine not attending school for an entire year, not because of the Covid-19 pandemic but because you cannot afford school fees. While pupils were still in school learning, Dominic Otieno, a Bridge alumni, was at home for an entire year trying to figure out what to do. Quality education has the power to transform lives and societies in a single generation.

Dominic Otieno was born and raised in a place with scenic hills and a picturesque shoreline, Homabay County but had to move from place to place while growing up as the parents were moving looking for greener pastures. His parents believed in providing quality education to their children thus enrolling him at Bridge International Academy, Hollywood in Kisumu County in the year 2012. One of his most devastating moments was when he had to stay at home for an entire year without going to school due to lack of school fees.

His father being a hawker and his mother a house manager, raising his school fees was pretty hard. This made him lag behind his peers but his dream of becoming rich and helping people someday kept him going. According to Dominic, Bridge academy is a school he cherishes. In contrast to his former school, at Bridge, Dominic thrived. He was surrounded by teachers who created a positive learning environment and worked with him one-on-one to guide him on challenging subjects.

Pupils at Bridge get individualized attention from their teachers that creates a significant relationship between them which prepares them for academic success. The move to Bridge was a defining moment that turned tables for me. Bridge unleashed my full potential and my performance in class improved superbly. He says

Dominic also added that teachers at Bridge were determined and committed to ensure their pupils did their very best.

I loved the fact that teachers were very determined and committed to teaching, they made it easy to understand what they taught. They always made a follow up on every pupil and got to know their area of weakness. Says Dominic.

Dominic sat for his KCPE exams in 2015 and graduated with 383 marks. He later joined Nova Secondary where he graduated with a B constant which led him closer to achieving his dreams. With the help of Bridge, he got a scholarship to join Nova Secondary school, one of the elite schools in the country.

Today Dominic is pursuing a course in Biotechnology at Kenyatta University. He says joining University is a big milestone for him and his family.

If you asked me a few years ago if there were any hopes of me joining campus, I would have probably looked you straight in the eye and said no, but today I am living proof that every dream is valid because I am leaving my dream today. Says Dominic.

The story of Dominic is that of resilience and determination in the face of hardship. Despite the many challenges he faced while studying he remained hopeful and focused. Currently he is on the path to achieving his dream of becoming a biotechnologist.

Let Dominic’s story be an inspiration to any child out there struggling with school fees, to any parent who is not sure whether their child will catch up when they go back to school. Dominic’s story is evidence that a good school can change the destiny of your entire generation. It doesn’t matter how long you have been home but with committed teachers you will definitely catch up and to your surprise, even surprise yourself.

Providing quality education to children is providing them with the skills they need to end poverty and labor exploitations, to give them the knowledge, skills and confidence required to reach their full potential and become the best versions of themselves.