Solomon is 24 years old and graduated on April 13, 2019, with Diplomas in Computers and Hotel Management. He was hired as a non-contracted employee about a week before he graduated. I interviewed him on Messenger on July 12 to see how work was going for the first 90 days.
Heather: Are you ready to share how your job is going?
Solomon: I am getting very interested and comfortable with my job. The beginning was very hard because I never had much experience, but now am serving as a night auditor.
Heather: Are they paying you?
Solomon: Yes. They are paying me but am not really happy with what they are giving me. However, to be real I am getting a lot of experience.
Heather: Did your courses at UDS help with learning this job?
Solomon: Yes, everything I am doing at work is what I got from my study at UDS.
Heather: What are your future hopes in this career?
Solomon: My future hope is to become a manager of one of the best hotels in our Liberia.
Heather: What was your educational background before UDS?
Solomon: I’m a high school graduate. I went to college for two semesters for a computer programming degree and drop out because I couldn’t afford it.
Heather: Has UDS prepared you to meet your future goals?
Solomon: So true, I strongly believe that we from UDS are very qualified and we can do better from what I experienced.
Solomon works a foreign-owned guest house about 10 minutes from our center. Although they have not offered him a permanent employment contract, he is able to support his family for now.
Thank you for giving Solomon the chance to learn two trades in our center and start his career in hotel management!
Our heartfelt Thanks to our long-standing supporter, Julie B. from Oklahoma! She gave a generous donation of $500 during our Give to the Max Day and selected to purchase two computers from our Become a Classroom Hero donation page.
Earlier this month (January 2019), we purchased two new used desktops for our computer training lab. As a result of Julie’s generosity, our computer lab continues to benefit the Liberian Youth taking our most popular course.
Thank you so much, Julie, for these two beautiful computers!
Your continued generosity flows like a river of opportunity for aspiring young Liberian men and women. One of our graduates Abu B Kiawu, who rode your current of hope, posted his inspiring testimony on Facebook of his journey with Uniting Distant Stars. He gave us permission to share his eloquently written message of gratitude:
You made Abu’s journey possible, and his expression of gratitude illustrates how your continued support is making a difference for him and his fellow graduates. Thank you!
As a valued Star Supporter, you improve the learning environment for our ambitious students. In the last newsletter we shared the story ofAdam Pederson’s Facebook Fundraiserfor our computer lab. We combined the $2,020 raised from his two donors with the $180 fromFlorkime Paye’s Facebook Fundraiser(the remainder went towards the graduation) earlier this year to purchase additional computers.
Kelvin Fomba, Co-Founder and Director, negotiated a deal with a vendor to purchase:
12 used desktop computers loaded with Microsoft Software, Mavis Beacon Typing Application, and other software
12 combo chair desks
Photos (clockwise starting top left): 1) New computers 2) Dauda Dassin and Roseline Sonday setting up the computers 3) Kelvin Fomba arranging the desks
The final price is $2,800, and we are raising funds for the $600 balance. Thank you to all the Star Supporters for fulfilling this need! Because of you, our lab consists of 20 computers for the benefit of our students.
You are moving mountains with your heartwarming generosity! You made #GivingTuesday a remarkable success. Not only did you help unlock the matching gift of $500, but you raised another $320. In other words, you raised $1,320 (24%) towards our $5,500 goal.
It gets even better! One of our fabulous board members, Miriam Monono, started a fundraiser for UDS on Facebook, sponsored by the Network for Good, to raise a $1,000 that will be matched dollar for dollar by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Facebook is waiving the fees to make your online donations. Six donors raised $215 within the first three days. You can double your generous gift by clicking on this link and the blue Donate button as shown in the screen shot below. This fundraiser is in conjunction with our year-end campaign. Your holiday gift-giving for children & youth in Liberia can have a greater impact when it is doubled…raise a $1,000 to give $2,000 to provide educational and vocational training resources for children & youth in Liberia.
Also, we hope to see you this Thursday (December 8, 2016) at Ten Thousand Villages for their charitable event on Uniting Distant Stars’ behalf. Please stop by between 5PM and 8PM to shop for fabulous gifts, enjoy a treat on us, and learn more about our programs. For all in-store shopping during this event, UDS will receive a percentage; 10% of sales up to $150 and 20%, if sales total more than $150. The store is located at 520 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN 55102.
Finally, this post will close with a simple prayer request. Our team in Liberia has recruited 120 students for our January vocational training courses with a third signed up for computer training course. We have one young man, who signed up for the masonry course. Each course needs at least 10 students to offer it. He was given the option to select another one. He declined and said, “this his heart’s desire”. How can we refuse someone’s dream? So we ask for your prayers to help us recruit nine other students who share this young man’s passion.
You are celebrated for making everything STARtacular for children & youth in Liberia!!!
The end of 2016 is a few weeks away, and your faithful support this year has benefited the lives of hundreds of children and youth participating in Uniting Distant Stars (UDS) programs. Your generosity is so appreciated by these young people. One of our auto mechanic students, George Cooper, recently shared how he considers you a member of the UDS family. (Read more about George in our 2014 Annual Report).
This post is dedicated to identifying the many ways you can Give, Heal, Shop, and Make a Difference for children and youth as part of end-of-year giving plan.
Give to our Tools for Success: Books, Computers & Sewing Machines campaign. There is still an opportunity to double your impact by donating and unlocking our matching gift. Your donation is tax-deductible and provides the resources students need the most to achieve their educational and vocational training goals.
Your fabulous gift will add more books to our library (left), additional computers for our lab (center) & sewing machines for our training program (right).
Shop at AmazonSmile for all your Christmas, Chanukah (Hanukkah), and Holiday Celebration necessities. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases toUniting Distant Stars Inc.
Shop at our Ten Thousand Villages Eventin St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday, December 8, 2016, from 5PM to 8PM. Please visit us at 520 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN 55102 to shop and enjoy some tasty treats.
Make a Difference in a young person’s life this holiday season; your gift can be an everlasting treasure to them.
Thank you for the generosity of your heart; the children and youth of Uniting Distant Stars appreciate you beyond measure!