Medical Student Balances School and Service

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Kenneth Acha is not your typical med student. Sure, he attends classes and studies with other students. But what sets him apart is what he does with his free time.

When Acha isn't in school, you'll find him running a non-profit organization he founded to help less fortunate children in his native country, Cameroon. A group he once belonged to.

"I lost my dad when I was five and dropped out of school twice. People helped me to go to school. So I was like them, I feel for them," said Kenneth Acha, medical student.

Acha's organization Shaping Destiny, provides support to kids in Cameroon whose families cannot afford food, clothing, medical care and tuition. All schools in Cameroon charge tuition and Acha remembers how it felt to be too poor to go to school.

"I would climb up a window and I would attend classes from the windows and I would be copying trying to write down the stuff. When they discover you are doing something like that you're going to be beaten, seriously," said Acha.

Shaping Destiny has been operating for about six months and currently sponsors 24 children. Acha is hoping that number will double in the coming months.

"We have lots of children that we can't help and they would be very happy to get people to help and show them the love that we have," said Acha.

It takes less than $20 a month to sponsor a child, some of Acha's classmates, are sponsors.

"I was like, I want at least two children. I'm a medical student so I don't have that much money but I want to do what I can," said Lindsay Fish, medical student.

Help Acha says speaks volumes.

"They just need that word of encouragement to say hey, keeping hanging in there. We're here with you we love you, you can make it," said Acha.

To learn more about Shaping Destiny or to help the organization visit www.shapingdestiny.org.


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