Maggie's Education Fund

I met Maggie in June of 2018 - a couple of weeks after she arrived in Boston.  Maggie’s mom, Annet, had been a caregiver for my elderly parents a few years ago.  When Maggie arrived in the US, Annet was in the hospital.  I reached out to Annet to see how I could help.  My husband and I are co-founders/directors of a nonprofit youth rock band program in Needham, called Plugged In.  Plugged In teaches kids about using music to create positive change in the world.  We offered Maggie a full scholarship to attend both 2-week sessions of our summer day camp.  We also offered her scholarship for weekly private guitar lessons.  

I have only known Maggie for 3 1/2 months, but have gotten to know her well in this short time.  We have had many thoughtful conversations that have moved me and given me insight into the depth of her spirituality, as well as to her self-discipline, positive outlook on life and her ambition to attend college and become a professional to better the world.   

In some of our conversations, we talked about some of the challenges she has experienced in life.  When I asked her if these times were hard for her, she said she knows God has a plan for her and she trusts in God. 

Maggie is also an excellent student.  Her guitar teacher was very impressed with how quickly she picked up guitar. She quickly learned enough to be able to play in a band.  She also learned drums while at camp.  She is a hard worker and is able to focus and achieve her goals.  Maggie told me she loves school…she even loves taking tests :).

It was a joy to watch her so happy at camp.  She loved being with other children - always smiling and bringing positive energy to her band and the rest of the camp.  Our camp had a number of students with special needs. Maggie was always kind and accepting of everyone.  All of the teachers and staff enjoyed working with her.  

While attending our summer camp, she stayed with two host families in Needham. These families loved Maggie, too.  She immediately fit in with the family and brought the same positive energy and cheerfulness.  She is orderly and self-disciplined.  At these host families, she cheerfully contributed with cooking and cleaning and leisure activities, like making puzzles together, playing cards and playing music together.  

In early August, Annet wasn't sure where Maggie was going to go to school in September. 

Annet is still recovering and is unable to work.  Due to financial struggles, she can only afford to rent a small room.  It is too small for Maggie to live there.  Maggie would not be able to attend a public school, because she has nowhere to live.  

We found out about the Lexington Christian Academy and thought it looked like a perfect fit.  It is a college preparatory school with many international students and a focus on spirituality - and offers boarding.  For most of Maggie's life, she has been in boarding school in Uganda - and flourished in this environment.  Even though it was so close to the beginning of school, we called LCA and asked if it would be possible for Maggie to attend and board - both on scholarship.  We brought Maggie in to meet the director of admissions - who immediately knew she wanted to Maggie to go to the school.   Maggie was accepted as a student and 5-day boarder and started classes on September 5!  

The total for tuition and boarding is $40,900. She received the maximum tuition grant possible from the school of $24,500 and full scholarship for boarding at $10,000.  That leaves $6,400 that her mom still has to pay.   It is a monthly payment of $832.37 for 8 payments ending on April 20, 2019.  

I started this GoFundMe page to help Annet raise the funds for the balance of the tuition, as well as a little extra for school supplies.   

It would be great if we could quickly raise $7500!  If that isn't possible, then we are looking for a group of loving and generous supporters who could commit to a monthly donation.  If we could gather 20 people who could donate $45/month for 8 months, that would make it possible for Maggie's mom to make the monthly tuition payments.

I will be posting regular updates with photos of Maggie at school and comments from her about her experience at LCA :).

Thank you so much for considering!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Sandra Rizkallah 
Needham, MA
Annet Namirembe 

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