Meet Edith Njuguna

“One of my biggest epiphanies came when I was studying literature in high school. The books we read opened my world and transported me to places I’d never been. My education impressed on me the power of reading; that’s why TDS is so important.”

Board Member since 2016

Birthplace: Kenya

Trips taken with TDS to Tanzania: 2

Career: Director of Programs and Policy Implementation at Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University

Hobbies: Traveling, hiking, reading, and enjoying Chicago’s limitless arts and culture opportunities

I have worked with TDS for a year through a partnership with the NIU Education Systems Center I work for where I led the career pathways effort in the Mara region. I was impressed by how passionate the teachers and administrators at the Nyegina and Mukirira Schools are and their willingness to identify strategies that will improve education outcomes for their students despite the challenges they face. At the center, our mission is to shape and support public systems that prepare more young people for careers in a global economy.

I’ve taken on fundraising responsibilities within my organization, and I believe my experience can help inform TDS’s fundraising efforts. My life philosophy is to pay it forward. Many people have supported me throughout my life, including my family, teachers, and mentors, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I do the work that I do and dedicate my time to TDS to pay it forward to the youth in the Mara region. Providing access to books and other resources for students in the Mara region opens their world and allows them to explore opportunities that exist beyond their immediate community.

“I think the work TDS does to support efforts for improving educational opportunities for young people in the Mara region is critical ­– not just for the young people, but for their families and their community.”