On the morning of their first exam day for the K.C.S.E. testing, fourth year Daraja students listened intently as a letter from “Mom and Dad,” or co-founders Jason and Jenni, was read to them. This year is the second year that Daraja Academy has had girls taking the K.C.S.E. and clear traditions are beginning to emerge.

The K.C.S.E. exam will last until November 15, with girls taking one or two subject exams per day. There are only two days excluding weekends, from now until November 15, that the girls have no testing and will spend the day studying. While our students are prepared and confident, testing for this long can be grueling and challenging.

Because of this, the Daraja staff and the fourth year’s fellow students have come up with a unique way to keep the students motivated and self-assured. After study hall each night, testing girls are greeted with a letter on their pillow from a member of the Daraja community. Administrators, staff, volunteers, fellow students, supporters, and more write the letters.

On the first night, a letter from Andy Harley, a long time supporter and former on-campus staff member, was placed on each student’s pillow. In his letter, Andy gave the girls three pieces of advice when taking the exam, such as to relax and be confident. The next night, the class of first-year students on campus came together to write a letter to their fourth year peers boasting their support and confidence in the girls’ performance.

“I told them that I believed in them, but now they have something they can look to whenever they need it,” second year Dianah said about the letter that her class wrote to the fourth year students.

Lilian, Regina, and Rosalia, all fourth year students, squealed with excitement when they realized that they would continue to receive letters past the first night of the exam. “They make me smile a lot,” Lilian reported with a smile, “I didn’t know we’d keep getting them!

With five days of testing down and thirteen to go, students report feeling good about the exams. They have finished all the exams for Mathematics and English as of today! We look forward to more traditions emerging where we can show our support to the students!