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A week in Kenya connects a complete stranger to an Aiglon scholar and an enduring alumni legacy.
Nick Hoffman spent a week in Kenya this summer teaching economics as a volunteer at the Starehe Boys’ Centre and School in Nairobi. "It was an incredible, eye-opening and quite humbling experience" Nick later said in an email, “to interact with some of the smartest young students in Kenya who come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds."
Nick enjoyed teaching a particularly talented former pupil of Starehe, named Patrick. Throughout their conversation, Patrick explained that he had left Starehe a year ago and was currently enrolled at Aiglon College in Switzerland, and that he was completing the IB Diploma Programme on a scholarship arranged by family and friends of a former Aiglon pupil, who died tragically descending from Mount Kenya in September 2004.
Moved by this story, Nick did his research and discovered that Aiglon College was in Villars, which brought back memories of having learnt to ski there with his brother.
He also discovered that Patrick’s scholarship was initially funded by AEA Investors, owing to the fact that the alumnus who lost his life on Mount Kenya was an employee of the company, Seba Calleri-Zavanelli. Furthermore, Nick realised that his cousin Alex, who works at AEA, happened to be Seba’s friend and colleague, but only became aware of this fact upon reading the news story on the Aiglon website about the unveiling of the SEBA plaque on Aiglon's campus and AEA’s CEO John Garcia's involvement.
Nick wrote to his cousin Alex Hoffman: "I thought you and your colleagues at AEA would like to know that I can think of no student I have ever met who is more deserving of the educational opportunities provided by a school like Aiglon, and which would be entirely impossible without the generous financial support from Seba's family and friends, following the inspirational donation by AEA. Incredibly smart, hard-working, generous and humble - he will most definitely go very far."
This story of coincidences was passed along by Nick's cousin to the Zavanelli family on what happened to be the eve of Seba's birthday, last 14th of August. Seba's sister, Carlotta, responded, "It's very moving to read Nick's perspective on Patrick and that, fourteen years on, Seba's legacy is providing opportunities to children who may not have them otherwise.”
Donations to The SebaCZ Scholarship Fund will be received with gratitude. Click here for information on ways to give.
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