Phoebe Ndege

Phoebe Ndege

Following her own blueprint for life led Phoebe Ndege to earn an engineering degree in her native Kenya, then venture to Northampton Community College to major in electromechanical technology. She earned the Lutron Electronics Co. Inc, Scholarship and the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Scholarship.

Ndege’s father urged her to become a teacher; her mother encouraged her to practice medicine. Ndege took her own path by playing for a Kenyan soccer club that offered student housing and a partial scholarship to study engineering. Her parents eventually paid for the rest of her tuition at Mount Kenya University.

"They saw, 'this one is not stopping. She is doing this,'" said Ndege.

Ndege hopes eventually to return to her country and establish a solar power plant to generate sustainable electricity for her hometown. She hopes that the electricity would improve public safety, provide light by which students can do homework, and enable residents to watch the news.

She also hopes to inspire other families to support their daughters' education.