For Baylor freshman Ansley Bridges, a trip to an impoverished nation led to an organization that is improving the lives of girls as they advance through the educational system in Ethiopia.
Bridges, a second-semester freshman at Baylor, first visited Ethiopia at the age of 13. Even at that age, she noticed a problem.
“In Ethiopia, students take national exams from seventh grade through 12th grade. For 10th and 12th graders, students who do not pass their exams are kicked out of school and not allowed to continue,” says the California native. “They have the option of retaking the national exam, but due to the fact that they are not allowed back in school, passing the exam is nearly insurmountable. Nationally, only 30% of girls would pass their exam.”
What Bridges saw spurred her to act, and what started as a passion — helping girls in Ethiopia pass the exam — has become her mission.
In 2011, she started PinK Girl (PinK stands for “Power in Knowledge”) to “provide young Ethiopian women with educational assistance and life skills in order to successfully graduate high school and attend the university.”
Bridges spent two months in Ethiopia last year working with her “PinK girls,” tutoring them and sharing life skills to help propel them to a passing grade in the national exams.
Together, their hard work is paying off — this summer, every one of the group’s 12th graders passed the national exam; now, each is headed to an Ethiopian university.
Sic ‘em, Ansley!
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