Late Bloomer Says Success Was Worth the Wait
Violet Gathaara (standing right) during a recent meeting with women farmers from Kilifi County in Kenya where she was trying to find out their perceived benefits and risks with regards to Genetically Modified Foods
By Violet Gathaara, AWARD Fellow
As a scientist, some might call me a late bloomer. At age 44, I enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, studying with students the same age as my first-born son. And now, 14 years later, I’m heading to a European university for a master’s program on a full scholarship. “Do your best and never give up” is my motto.
My late father was the force behind my thirst for education. He had to leave school young, later joining the Kenyan army, but he always encouraged his children to study hard and attain the highest level of education. But this didn’t happen for me as a young person. After successfully finishing secondary school, I opted for a college diploma instead of proceeding to university—a decision that broke my father’s heart. Two years after I completed the course, got a job, and was married with one child, my father asked me if that was the end of my education. “I sacrificed a lot in life to save enough so that my children could get a good education, which my parents could not give me,” he said.