Consolee Mbabazi’s journey from Rwanda to Columbia Public School’s EdX Intern Program is an amazing one, indeed! Consolee, along with her parents and siblings, arrived from Rwanda more than ten years ago and began attending Granny’s House not long after their arrival. Back then, she didn’t speak any English and as a pre-teen, had to learn how to maneuver through mid-Missouri life and culture. A key part of her assimilation to life on Trinity Place was Granny’s House where she found friends, mentors, and a supportive community through her participation in God’s Precious Jewels, The Princess Academy, The G.I.R.L.S., and Caleb – The Science Club.
While a student at Hickman High School, she participated in the EdX: Columbia Public School’s “Grow Our Own Teacher Development Program” that pairs students with mentors throughout high school and college. They are also paid to work alongside classroom teachers during summer school. “Miss Consolee,” as she was affectionately called by her students, worked at West Boulevard Elementary School last summer. According to CPS Superintendent, Peter Stiepleman, the EdX program is a way to “develop a pipeline of locally-educated teachers from current CPS students” and to increase the number of minority teachers in Columbia’s school system.
The culmination of the program was the recent Signing Ceremony at Hickman High School which was similar to ceremonies held for athletes when they sign commitments to play for a university sports team. Consolee received a full-ride, four-year scholarship to Columbia college valued at more than $120,000. After graduation and receiving her teaching certification, she is promised a job with CPS. We are so proud of Consolee Mbabazi and know that she will be an amazing role model and mentor to, not only the ever-increasing population of African refugee students attending CPS, but every student who meets the young lady whom EdX Coordinator, Nicolle Adair, calls “the most positive person I have ever met.” Congratulations Consolee!!