Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Remarkable Young Lady


Kelly Anyandike

While I was busy on my shopping spree for the next semester's classes I came across this remarkable story of a young girl swimming against the tides. And I wish to share her story. But first, a little self indulgence here.

Alright. I must confess, I am an education junkie. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and all who know me think I should be done with school. But studies, especially challenging ones are one of the very few pleasures in my life.

I wasn't always a fun of school. I have told the story before, as a 4 year old I was once taken to school at gun point by a cousin of mine that was a soldier in Amin's army. This was after my mum had given up on convincing me to go. He was as crazy as they come.
That particular incident tamed my tendency to truancy for which I was a faithful in my preteens after I had been taken out of boarding school.
Also truancy was in my genes since my father was the worst offender of his generation. He was notorious for smuggling alcohol into the school. So bad was his behaviour that he was made to commute to the boarding school from home which was about 7 miles away during the whole year of his finals. That didn't stop him however from being the best student in the whole district then region and winning a scholarship to study Math in India. A better choice for him over medical school for which he had been offered.

Where I am from you are nothing without a formal education. Some people think that is extreme but it makes alot of sense given the environment we are in.

How did I end up being an education junkie? Well its a long story but at some point I lost the opportunity to go to school for so many complex reasons I won't go into for now. The prospect of never getting an education turned my aversion around.

Back to the main subject about a young lady, her name is Kelly Anyadike. And this is her not so small story.

Kelly Anyadike is one of those special students taking classes concurrently at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, while still in high school. On Saturday March 15Th, Kelly turned 16 and she celebrated her birthday by setting a record. She became the youngest African-American female to fly solo in seven different planes in one day. She flew the planes out of Compton Airport this past Saturday as part of a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen's Los Angeles chapter. Members of the Compton City Council, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and some celebrities were on hand as Kelly flew one of her seven trips around the airport. She is taking sign language at Trade Tech with Dr. Robinson and also has taken art and speech classes. When not at Trade Tech, she attends the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, and plans to attend UCLA to become a vascular surgeon.
Ah! The possibilities. Thank You Kelly, you have been added on the villagers Prayer list.