A Life Changing Opportunity - YEAR 3
Leonce’s story continues to progress and inspire.
After two year’s at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, he is now into his junior year of high school. He spent the summer between sophomore and junior year at Tufts University in Boston, studying creative writing and astronomy, as part of a pre-college program for high school youth. (Though he said classes were incredibly challenging, we’re happy to report that he scored a B+ in Creative Writing and an A- in Astronomy).
The word “life-changing” is often overused, but in this case it could not be truer. These rare sorts of opportunities simply do not happen to Tanzanian orphans. If we can raise the rest of the needed funds to keep Leonce at HPA, we will change the trajectory of his life, giving him the education of his dreams. Here is video of him reacting to HPA’s website for the first time, before he even knew he might be considered:
When you first meet Leonce, he strikes you immediately as special – a young man with a thirst for knowledge, a curiosity for life and a genuine interest in you. The glint in his eye, the inevitable barrage of questions he will shoot at you, the polite way he borrows your iPhone and opens all your apps to see what they do…
Leonce grew up in a small mud house with his widowed peasant mother and older brother. His mom’s day consisted of picking mangoes and walking for hours to sell them on the street – bringing home maybe one or two dollars a day. Life grew too difficult, and she became unable to care for her kids. Leonce and his brother, Ombeni, were sent to live at the TunaHaki Orphanage. Upon meeting him, it was immediately clear to me that this boy as not just smart, but innovative and driven. At 8 years old, he was building his own toys, making detailed pencil drawings, and asking me to teach him English, French, and any other language I could share. Watch this video from 2010 to give you a glimpse into his exceptional love for learning:
For most of the kids at the orphanage, it was too late to put them on a path of advanced education; the best we could ultimately hope for was vocational school for all of them – except Leonce. We put him in an English speaking private school in Kilimanjaro, where he had to double his efforts to “catch up” – but that he did! Leap frogging past the initial challenges, the ever-industrious Leonce quickly rose to the top third of his class, sometimes even the top ten percent.
Cut to: Today!
If you contribute to Leonce’s education fund, you will be considered an Honorary Parent – (You can all visit him on Parent’s Weekends!) I trust he will be enjoying many Honorary Parents – and he deserves it.
|Additional In-Kind Donations Needed|
|Gift cards from Staples, Amazon, iTunes, Visa, Amex, Gap|
I have such great faith in this young man. He is filled with such promise – and his future is part of our great future. When we look back on our lives, helping guide this stellar life on its course will be something we will all take special pride in, I guarantee it. Thanks in advance for being a part of this rare opportunity.
Please send checks to:
2461 Santa Monica Blvd. #437
Santa Monica, CA 90404