By Ashley Bagwell
He has experienced more tribulations in his life than the vast majority of Leander students. He understands what it means to truly long for an education. He stands over six feet tall. He sits on a rock, not a chair. He writes on a board, not a desk. He walks to the classroom, he does not drive. But mostly, he knows that with all of these ‘discomforts’ and ‘inconveniences’ he will stand a much better chance at not being doomed to repeat the treacherous lives of every single member of his family who has come before him. This is his lucky year.
This luck comes in the form of a high school, the first to be built in his rural Kenyan community, “a modern high school that will change this community forever, and will be a model for schools across Africa,” said Turk Pipkin, director of One Peace at a Time (the film responsible for bringing this project to Leander High School).
Through The Nobelity Project, an Austin-based organization dedicated primarily to furthering education and bettering lives for children across the globe, the Leander community has gained the opportunity to aide in this mission through the construction of Mahiga Hope High School.
Seniors in the International Baccalaureate were invited to watch One Peace at a time and were immediately impacted by the gravity of a number of problems in other parts of the world and the noble causes aimed at answering these problems.
“This project stood out to me because I have always wanted to do something that has world value,” said Victoria Fielding, IB senior. “This opportunity has been something that has allowed me to contribute to the world.”
One of the major aspects stressed through the IB program is being aware of international causes. While it would be easier to chose a local cause, especially due to the tangible quality of any results, there is much more potential for profound impact when giving to cause which isn’t right next door because it causes one to pay attention to the results and not just take them for granted.
“This project is so important because it allows us to help our family on the other side of the world,” said Fielding. “This project gives work to idle hands, and contributes to the greatest good: a bright future for kids who wouldn’t have one otherwise.”