Billion's story

Billion is a second-year student at the Kibondeni College of Catering and Hospitality in Nairobi, Kenya.

Growing up as the first-born child in her family of five, Billion had quite a lot of responsibility. Being able to move to Nairobi through a family friend, Billion used the money she was earning from working in the city to pay her brother’s high school fees. Because of this, her brother is now in university, studying to become a high school teacher.

Being in Nairobi, Billion had heard about Kibondeni and really wanted to attend the college. Her boss was supportive and said that he would not stand in her way if she got accepted. After doing the interview, Billion was so proud that she passed and so excited to start studying.

Being at Kibondeni makes her very happy: “I found myself, cooking being my passion, I really like it so much. So being at Kibondeni has made me gain skills that I can use outside and I’m so happy about it.”

While studying, Billion worried that she was making the wrong choice. She considered leaving her studies, because she is the main source of income for her family back home. Billion says that the mentorship programme has helped her overcome her doubts.

“I explained to her how I was feeling. She really motivated me. I like her so much.”

With her mentor, she was able to discuss goals and recognise that by finishing her studies, she will be able to provide better for her family later on. Her family also fully supports her: “Let me tell you, my mom is really proud of me.”

Billion has one more year left at Kibondeni and after graduation she wants to continue her education, learn more skills and dreams of eventually becoming a chef.