May 2nd, 2011

Dear Friends,                                                                

This summer I have an amazing opportunity to go to South Africa and see firsthand the power of education in changing and transforming a nation. With 22 other classmates including teachers, student affairs professionals and students, I will be able to explore South Africa from July 3 to July 31st , and study social reform focusing on the medium of education. I am very excited to go, for the opportunity to learn more about education outside of the United States, and to meet individuals who have dedicated their lives to such a necessary human right and change the nation with their work. The professor heading this trip has worked in the Ministry of Education under Nelson Mandela, and is still influential in research and practice, so there will be incredible and rare opportunities to interact with key figures in South Africa’s educational system.

Specifically, I will be traveling from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Pretoria, major cities in South Africa. While there, I will be studying and developing a research topic related to social reform and education through interviews and on site research and this experience will also count as two courses towards my masters degree in Higher Education. As I explore the path for my future career, I believe this experience will help me find the focus and passion to which I can dedicate my life. I’m excited about the opportunities this program provides to learn about education, social reform,  Africa’s youth, and more!

There are many ways that you can help – most importantly, you can send words of encouragement and advice! I’ve only traveled internationally once before, and South Africa is a much longer distance from home than New York.  Another very important way you can help is through financial support. I’ve worked hard to cover the cost of the program, through part time jobs, serving as program assistant to defray costs, and saving every penny I can! I’m more than halfway to my goal, but I still have to raise about $5,000 to cover my flight and expenses while there. Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated, and no amount is too small. You can donate online at www.mercystudyabroad.chipin.com/mercyworldwide  , or via check addressed to Mercy Daramola.

While preparing for the trip and throughout my time there, follow my journey here and on twitter twitter.com/worldwidemercy

Thanks so much for your time, and thank you for partnering with me in this!

Mercy Daramola


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