John Morris, a member of Ashesi’s Class of 2021, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, at the university’s 17th commencement ceremony which was held on June 5, 2021.
“Graduating from Ashesi with BSC. Computer Science and this is my greatest achievement to date. I thank Ashesi for believing in me and supporting my dream,” he stated.
Growing up, it was John’s dream to make his mother proud with his academic achievements, but unfortunately, his mother was not available to see him graduate from one of Ghana’s best universities.
“I dedicate this degree to my parents posthumously and thank them for the boy they raised,” he said.
John lost his parents 13 years ago. He was born and raised in Kisii, south-western Kenya.
“I rarely tell people I am an orphan because I do not want sympathy and to start feeling sorry for myself. That’s not who I am. I have since developed to be as tough as nails and always a go-getter.”
“When you become an orphan at a young age, you ‘technically’ become an adult and by that, you have to be more mature for your age and be decisive in many aspects,” he said.
According to John, he never allowed adversity to derail him. Through Equity Bank, Kenya’s Wings to Fly program he was able to attend high school. “I am eternally grateful to Mastercard Foundation for educating me for eight years through my high school and tertiary education,” he said.
After graduating from high school with very good grades, John got admitted to the University of Nairobi’s College of Health to study Medicine. But his dream of becoming a doctor like his mother was cut short due to financial challenges.
“After completing high school I attained an A in KCSE and got admitted to UoN’s College of Health Sciences. I was so excited that finally, I was going to be a doctor, like my mother. Well, the excitement would be short-lived thereafter… Medical school is rigorous and with minimum breaks and as someone who paid tuition by myself, it would be difficult for me to survive. I dropped out of UoN in February 2017 taking a leap of faith,” he revealed.
After dropping out of Medical School, John applied to universities in the U.S and Europe but did not gain admission. “Even the ones that I had given me admission offers, they didn’t either offer me scholarships or offered partial ones.”
During his search for other universities to apply to, he came across Ashesi University. He applied and got accepted on a full scholarship.
“My acceptance to Ashesi and on full scholarship will always be a sweet dream, that I haven’t woken up from since. Special gratitude to MasterCard Foundation for making this possible. Unbelievable!”
“At Ashesi I met amazing people that are geared towards transforming the continent and I am on the same trajectory… Ashesi’s mission is to educate ethical and entrepreneurial leaders and I believe I have mastered the art and skills to actualize this in the world. I am ready to be part of the Ashesi dream… Thank you Ashesi.”
John also revealed other things he was able to achieve during his time as a student at Ashesi University.
“Through Ashesi, I attended the World Youth Forum in 2019 and the MFSCP summer school at Edinburgh University. These experiences have given me exposure and been tremendous in my growth,” he said.
In honour of his mother, John did his final thesis capstone project on “Smart Predictive Analysis in Clinical Trials” (the case of Coronavirus), where he evaluated the effectiveness of machine learning in making the patient recruitment process effective and seamless.
He, however, indicated that completing his thesis was “tough” after academic activities were moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Proud of me for never relenting in my pursuit for greatness,” he said.
“I hope to continue my education at the Master’s level in Computer Science or Innovation, and work in creating innovative and creative technological solutions in education and health,” he revealed.
John is passionate about contemporary technology, trends in Big Data, Software development, and Robotics technology. He is also passionate about Human Rights Activism, Pan-Africanism, and Poetry.
He is also the founder of Timiza Initiative, a non-profit organization geared towards inspiring and impacting lives of the less fortunate in society. John is an incoming Academy Fellow at The Aga Khan Academies.
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