Top 5 Moments of 2018
The Year in Review
As we wrap up 2018, we feel so grateful for all the amazing people who make this work possible — our scholars, our graduates, our donors, and our volunteers! Many of those folks are featured in our top 5 moments of this year.
#5. New partnerships
In 2018, for the first time, CROSO had interns helping us work toward our goals here in the U.S.! We partnered with the University of Dayton in Ohio and Lake Forest College here in Illinois to attract highly motivated students (seniors and rising seniors) to assist our one paid staff member. Throughout the year, we worked with a total of 6 interns, who focused on different aspects of our operational tasks including program support for our scholars, event planning and preparation, grant writing, marketing and more. Interns were also exposed to all parts of CROSO’s work as they were invited to sit in on committee and board meetings and worked alongside our executive director. We are so grateful for the support they provided and look forward to having more interns moving forward.
Another new partnership this year was with Media 256, a Ugandan video production company based in Kampala, Uganda. We had the opportunity to partner with them on two projects this year and are so excited about the end results! The first project was the video for our annual benefit. (You can see the video by clicking the link below!) They also took video interviews of our scholars during our annual scholar gathering and we look forward to sharing more of that footage with you in 2019. In addition to loving the professional quality of their work, we’re grateful to be supporting local Ugandan businesses.
#4. Seven new CROSO Scholars
In 2018, we accepted 6 new scholars and 1 continuing scholar (now pursuing a bachelor’s degree after having completed a diploma) and we are so thrilled with how well they’ve already adjusted to their new school environments. To read more about them, you can check out this blog post from earlier this year, or read their individual bios on our scholar page.
#3. Six scholars completed their courses
We are so proud of each of these scholars for their hard work and determination to complete their programs. We look forward to seeing how they apply their skills and knowledge to transforming their communities!
Ejiet Moses completed his course in June. He will receive his diploma in Clinical Medicine from St. Elizabeth’s Institute for Health Professionals in 2019.
Gimugu Moses also completed his course in June. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Uganda Christian University in 2018.
Khatuli Raymond completed his course in Computer and Information Technology at Livingstone University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in October.
Ariong Gabriel completed his diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health from Medicare Health Professionals College in Kampala and is awaiting graduation in early 2019.
Akitwi Pamela completed her bachelor’s degree in Business and Business Administration from Uganda Christian University in Mbale. She graduated in November.
Namuzungu Rehema just completed her diploma in Nursing at Mbale School of Nursing and Midwifery in November and is awaiting graduation in early 2019.
#2. 2018 CROSO Trip
In October, board member Elsa VanHove served as CROSO’s ambassador on a week-long whirlwind trip to Uganda. While there, she met with all 22 of our current CROSO Scholars, 17 of the 24 graduates (5 of them at their work places), and visited 8 campuses! Elsa also hosted the annual CROSO Scholar Gathering where all but one of our current scholars was able to participate in small group discussions, feedback sessions, and (of course) shared in delicious meals. To read Elsa’s stories from her trip, click here.
#1. Graduates getting recognized in their community
While CROSO’s mission states that we are helping our scholars to transform their communities, this is not something that we always get the privilege to see take action immediately. However, this year, several of our CROSO graduates were recognized for their contributions to their communities in different ways. Most notably, CROSO graduate Nakyeyune Norah was invited to speak to global leaders in London (including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) about women empowerment and gender-based violence in Uganda. She was then featured in an Elle magazine article where they showcased the work she is doing in Kampala to increase safety for women in the area. We are so proud to see and hear our scholars getting the opportunity to utilize their talents, skills, and passions for good in their community!
In addition to these top 5 moments, we are so grateful for the dedicated Board of Directors (all volunteer) who give countless hours throughout the year to make CROSO’s mission come to life. Special thanks to Beth Garstki Lampson (board president) and Michael Bowen (board vice-president) for your leadership of this committed team.