BTE Alumni Story: From Small Town to Law School in Kenya
In January 2014, Johnson & Johnson partnered with the Kenya Education Fund (KEF), Phillips Healthcare Services, and three institutions of higher education (Africa Nazarene University, Kenya Medical Training College, and the University of Nairobi) to launch a new BTE program in Kenya. Targeting 25 girls at St. Ann’s Gichocho Girls High School and 25 boys at Tala Boys High School, the program aimed to help Kenyan high school students enrich their academics and set realistic career and academic goals.
Over the three-year grant period, BTE students participated in many college and career readiness activities:
- Projects and Presentations
- Community Service
- Corporation and Hospital Tours
- After School Health Clubs
- BTE Camp
- Guest Lectures & Health Resource Speakers
- Job Shadowing/Career Days
- University Campus Tours
Melvin Kioko Malemba remembers the day he was selected to be part of the program. “I was ecstatic,” he says. “This is because before the selection was done, we had been told a bit about the program, and I could tell it would be an exceptional experience.” He says the BTE program had a lasting impact on him. “Through the mentors and facilitators, I learned to be more self-aware and open my eyes to the opportunities inside and outside of school. I learned how to lean on my strengths and at the same time work on my weak areas.”
Melvin graduated from high school and entered the Bachelor of Laws program at the Africa Nazarene University, graduating in 2020. During a summer break, he volunteered at a law firm in Kenya, and still serves as a mentor to younger students at his university two years later.
More importantly, he says, he “learned how to give back to the community, which is an important value that has helped me in my personal and professional life. It helped me rise in leadership and inculcate the same value in my followers. I am grateful to have been part of BTE, the experience is forever etched in my heart!”
Overall, the Kenya program has achieved impressive results:
- 44.4% of the BTE students at Tala Boys High School qualified for direct university entry (vs. 40% in the Comparison Group)
- BTE students experienced statistically significant gains in their overall GPA, as well as Mathematics, English and Science grades from baseline to end of Year 3; all gains were significantly higher than the Comparison Group.
- The average mark for the BTE students in mathematics was 45.73%, significantly higher than the national average that has been below 30% in the past five years.
- The BTE-Health Clubs established at each of the secondary schools will continue post Corporate-funding.
Learn more about the Kenya BTE site here.