CNN’s 2022 Hero of the Year Award winner Nelly Cheboi says Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga played a role in her journey to success.
In a recent interview with Success Africa, Cheboi said Odinga gave her Sh300,000 to enable her to travel to the United States after receiving a full scholarship to further her studies.
“I went to Maryhill Girls High School, got an A in my studies, and was to travel to the United States for my scholarship. I had a deadline of two weeks to report,” she said.
“My area MP organized my passport, but I was stuck, I had no visa or travel air ticket until I met Raila, who gave me Sh300,000,” she added.
The 29-year-old received a scholarship in 2012 to study Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Augustan’s University Illinois.
Upon graduation, she worked as a software engineer for New World Van lines and as a full-stack engineer for Kodable, and as a Lead Software Engineer for User Hero.
On September 12th, Cheboi was honored in a ceremony in New York for her work in creating computer labs for Kenyan schoolchildren through her nonprofit TechLit Africa.
Cheboi, who quit a lucrative software engineering job in Chicago in 2019 to create computer labs for Kenyan schoolchildren, was selected by online voters from among this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes.
As CNN Hero of the Year Award winner, she received a cash prize of $100,000 (Sh12 million) to expand her work. She will also be named an Elevate Prize winner, which comes with a $300,000 (Sh37 million) grant and additional support worth $200,000 (Sh25 million) for her nonprofit.
Through her foundation Techlit Africa, Cheboi recycles old computers and uses them to create technology labs across schools in rural Kenya.
The computer scientist was featured in this year’s Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list.