A Letter to the High School Graduate, 2019

July 19, 2019

Today we are featuring a letter from one of our alumni and young leaders, Irene Peter. Irene was part of our scholarship program from 2008-2016 and is now studying at Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Irene took the initiative to write this letter for our upcoming high school graduates. Her letter celebrates the achievements of the graduates, and assures them that even though this transition period might be challenging and uncertain at points, boundless opportunities await. Irene shares the story of her personal growth and development and illustrates the importance of resilience and perseverance throughout her educational trajectory. Irene’s letter embodies the importance of peer mentorship, which is a crucial part of the fabric of our TFFT community. We hope this letter provides our readers with an understanding of Irene’s aspirations and her experience as a TFFT alumni!

“Dear young star,

It is time for TFFT Alumni to celebrate your accomplishments and we are eagerly waiting to have you join The TFFT Alumni. My name is Irene Peter, and I was a TFFT Scholarship recipient from 2008-2016. I am currently finishing up my last year of BSc in Information System Management at Ardhi University. I was moved to write this letter as I believe it would have helped me greatly to learn more about this transition, so I hope this will help you.

Before I finished up with my ordinary level education, I have had a passion to spend my entire life flying airplanes. Like a bird flying in the sky, trusting in the strength of her wings, I saw myself flying in the sky, trusting in the strength of an airplane as my wings to help me take my passengers to their beloved families and workplace.

Just like you, during my scholarship I did everything I could to make this dream come true. My sponsor and The Foundation For Tomorrow loved me and supported my dream beyond my own imagination. At the age of 16, I was invited to co-pilot an airplane that flew from Kisongo airport to Manyara National Park. What a privilege, and an amazing experience, for The Foundation For Tomorrow to give me. But then I was brought to the doctor for my eye sight testing, and that is when things started to change and my dream of becoming a pilot started to fade away. I was diagnosed with a sight problem in my left eye, and even with surgery my sight was not certain to fully recovery. My reality at that time forced me to chose not to go for eye surgery and therefore let go of my dream as a pilot. Though I know I will never fly an airplane, I still remember how exciting my co-piloting experience was. I believe the confidence I have gained through these experiences will help me as I set off on a new path.

I think the message that I am trying to share with you as you are waiting for your high school academic results and make preparations to join college is this: sometimes things happen beyond our own expectations and that success is not as linear as many people would wish it to be. Some of you might get the academic results and course of study that you expect and hope for, and some of you might not. Some of you might get the government loan to pay for the costs of your higher learning studies and some of you might not. I am here to tell you, whatever the outcome, there is always another opportunity knocking at your door for you to open and receive. Don’t be so attached to your expectations to the extent that you blind yourself from seeing other opportunities that are knocking at your door.

Like Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Open up your mind. Broaden your view. Review as many university programs as possible, and consider all your options. Enjoy this time of celebrating your accomplishment as a high school graduate, while preparing for college and your career path.

Love, Irene Peter”

We have written about Irene’s journey with TFFT in another blog post. To read about Irene’s trajectory and how our scholar support has translated to alumni support, click here. To learn more about where our other TFFT graduates land, click here.