Last month I had the opportunity to support the NetHope Academy Boot Camp in Rwanda. The BootCamp allows NetHope interns to meet one another, build community and create new networks all while developing new technical and soft skills for the work place. I felt incredibly privileged to work with the interns directly, watching them learn and hearing about how the program has made such a huge impact on their lives. I asked a few of them to write up a blurb about themselves and share their plans with us. Here are some highlights of another really great NetHope Academy Intern class.
NetHope Academy Volunteer
I’m Merab Twahirwa from Kigali, Rwanda. I knew I wanted to be different from my five sisters and pursue a career in the sciences. I went to an all-girls school specializing in the sciences, and then I received my degree in Computer Science from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. While my degree program was mostly theory and few labs, the NetHope program is just the opposite. I love all of the hands-on practice and the instructors. I thank NetHope for coming to Rwanda, and I’m excited for the program. It really prepares you for a career in IT. Based on what we’ve learned the past few weeks, if we were offered jobs today, we’d be ready!
I’m Emmanuel Nshimiyimana from Nyamirambo, Rwanda, and I recently graduated from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology with a degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering. I love IT, and if I love something, I spend all of my time on it. So, if I’m not in the classroom learning about IT, I’m at home reading books and watching videos about IT. Even with my degree and my outside research, this program has taught me a lot about IT. The program provides great opportunities to learn and work. It provides hope, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
I’m Jennifer Batamuliza from Kigali, Rwanda. I have a degree in Computer Engineering from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. I come from a large family and school fees are very expensive, so I had to be tops in my class to earn scholarships. I was sometimes advised not to pursue my degree, “You’re a woman—you can’t make it in Computer Science.” But I feel that a woman can do whatever a man can do. I love all the practical experience I am getting with this program. We’re very lucky to get internships, and I hope others will have these opportunities, so we can all improve Rwanda. I’m very excited about the future!
I’m Michel Mushimiyimana from Kigali, Rwanda. I graduated from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology with a degree in Computer Engineering and IT. I’m excited to be selected into the NetHope program, and appreciate how transparent the selection process has been. In my free time, I earn extra money by designing websites for others. I also work on my own website, Rwanda Youth for Leadership and Change Initiative. What NetHope is doing is important to Rwanda and to me. For me, it’s an amazing opportunity to get a job, and for Rwanda, we’re building capacity in IT.
I’m Mireille Rugwizangoga from Kigali, Rwanda. I have a degree in Computer Science and Systems from National University of Rwanda. I feel everyone can do computer science—it doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl. While at university, I was president of the University Women Student’s Association where we encouraged each other in the sciences. We also reached out to girls in secondary schools to continue their education in science. I loved my classes at the university, but they were not very applicable to everyday IT tasks. I love the simulators and hands-on labs that NetHope is providing. With all of this practical experience, I will definitely be prepared for my first job.
Jean de Dieu Nsekuye
I’m Jean de Dieu Nsekuye from Kigali. I recently graduated from Kigali Institute for Science and Technology with a degree in Computer Science. I found out about the program from the head of my department, and was really interested in how NetHope encourages young people to pursue practical skills. I was so excited to be chosen from 400 people to be part of the program. I was especially excited about getting an internship because they are not easy to get. In my free time I develop logos for different companies, as well as networking, programming, and webmaster activities. When I graduate I would love to create my own IT business.