Just Try: You Were Made for More
Guest post by Petronella
I was born in a tiny village in Uganda and immigrated with my family to the States when I was 10. I am the first in my family to attend high school and college in the United States. My parents were the first to attend graduate school in America.
The girl who rocks is my mother. When I was younger, she always told me that I could do anything I set my mind to do and she demonstrated that principle as a mother and as an inspiring, award-winning teacher.
Growing up in the States as a first generation family, we didn’t have much. My mother believed that education would open up doors to opportunities she didn’t have. So my parents enrolled my sister and I in a private school attended by the children of some of the wealthiest families in town. I never had any of the fancy clothes, cars or material things that my classmates had, but at Altamont, I was exposed to new and different people and experiences, which planted the seed inside me to dream a bigger life for myself. I was lucky to have teachers who saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself and encouraged me to work hard, study and try new things.
With every “try,” I took more risks and aspired for bigger dreams. I graduated college with an engineering degree, years later got my MBA and have had many amazing opportunities including travelling to various countries on 6 continents.
I’m so excited about attending the GIRLS WHO ROCK concert and supporting the girls at the Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda. Partly because Uganda is a patriarchal society, most girls never dream of lives beyond working in the fields, getting married, having kids and working as maids or housekeepers.
Organizations like She’s the First and the AAHU are so amazing because by supporting girls education in developing countries, their efforts are making a statement to these girls that they are special and deserve the best. It takes just one person who believes in you, adequate learning resources and a good education to dream for a bigger, better life.
To all the AAHU girls, I am one example of a girl who was born in a tiny village in Uganda, dreamed big, studied and worked hard and am pursuing new experiences and dreams all the time. I know for sure that who you and what you desire for your life is special, valid and important. I hope every single girl graduates, goes on to college and pursues their dreams and passions.
I hope to meet you one day and hear your amazing stories.
[Petronella currently lives in the greater New York area and is pursuing one of her dreams as a photographer: by Petronella Photography (www.bypetronella.com)]