UWAI | The Uganda Boston Community Parents and Students Career Day Highlights!

Posted November 21, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 3,282 views



The Uganda Women’s Association International (UWAI) hosted the first Parents and Students Career Day Educational Workshop on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at the Boys and Girls Club of Waltham.  The purpose of the Workshop was to educate the Parents and Students of Ugandan descent and the Community at large the resources available to help manage their educational careers from Kindergarten to College.  Other factors that typically hinder attaining academic success and goals were discussed.  The event guest of honor was the re-elected Mayor of Waltham, Ms. Jeannette McCarthy.  It was also well attended by professionals from the leading institutions such as Princeton Review, Edward Jones, and Berklee College of Music who also represented the New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECCBAC), Kumon, Teen Challenge, Dr. Josephine Ssenkungo, Mrs. Salma Semakula and Mrs. Rehema Sengendo among others.  Below are some of the highlighted summaries from each invited speaker at the one day workshop.


KumonPresented by Ms. Archana Dubey, Director of Kumon Learning Center, Waltham, MA

“Kumon is an after school Math and Reading enrichment program that is designed to help students from Pre-school to high school in developing their self learning ability, build confidence and reach their maximum potential. Through carefully designed worksheets, students can learn from number counting to calculas and from phonemics to Shakespeare and develop critical and self-learning skills. Students work 30 minutes each day per subject, twice a week at the center and 5 days at home to master each concept one step at a time. Students learn at their own pace and aim to reach above grade level within 6-12 months and eventually learn 2-3 years ahead of their grade and finish high school math and reading while still in middle school. High school thus becomes easy and gives them more time to focus on other activities needed for college readiness.”


Princeton ReviewPresented by Ms. Cynthia Cowan

Ms. Cowan provided the background and services of the Princeton Review.  She provided a breakdown of how the different types of tests are administered.  She explained what constitutes a good score and what the students need to know.  She explained how the SAT has changed and the reasons for the change.  She gave very good strategies on how to prepare for any type of tests.  She explained what schools look for, the difference between ACT and SAT.


American Student Assistance and FAFSAPresented by Ms. Andrea Navarro and Colleague Darnell, Education Advisors:

When choosing a college, it is imperative families consider financial possibilities and compare what various schools will be able to offer them. The biggest challenge for families is to know what the various schools’ deadlines are for Financial Aid applications. In a student’s senior year in High School, families can start filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which is Free to fill out online. With the FAFSA, students will know how much they qualify for in “grants”, “loans”, and “work-study.” The ASA College Planning Center at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square is open 6 days a week and offers FREE help for this and much more. Admissions and Financial Aid is a complicated process and it’s so important for families to be able to ask questions and get the help they need every step of the way.


Berklee College of Music Presented by Ms. Kellee Webb, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions:

Berklee was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music.  For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business, leading the way with the world’s first baccalaureate studies in jazz, rock, electric guitar, film scoring, songwriting, turntables, electronic production, and more than a dozen other genres and fields of study.  With a diverse and talented student body representing 96 countries, and alumni who have collectively won more than 250 Grammys and Latin Grammys, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.


New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECCBAC) – Presented by Ms. Kellee Webb – Secretariat:

NECBAC promotes and provides access to higher education for students of color, low-income students and first generation college students.  We encourage the students we work with not to limit their college considerations based on prestige or price, as many of these institutions have endowments and scholarships to assist these populations.  Students should also remember to point out what makes them unique in the vast sea of college applicants.  Maintaining excellent grades, being prepared for interviews, auditions/portfolio reviews and having a unique essay that really lets the admissions board know how the student will contribute to their campus are extremely important.


Edward Jones:     Presented by Ms. Marilyn J. Gentilotti, Financial Advisor

Edward Jones presented the topic “College – Getting there from here”.  Their focus was the rising cost of education; the ways to pay for college: save, borrow and/or get assistance from financial aid. We discussed saving strategies when you have competing demands for your dollars, like house payments, bills, car payments, retirement and utilities.  Starting to save today, even $50 a month when a child is young can grow to over $20,000 in 18 years.  The key is to invest regularly – ask that  birthday or holiday gifts be contributed to your child’s education fund; as other costs of raising a child are reduced, like day care expenses when the start going to school, put that extra money into the education fund; also contribute a portion of unplanned money, like from a tax refund. Don’t waste time and tax dollars – take advantage of tax-free growth and tax free withdrawals in an education plan.


Food and Nutrition Presented by Mrs. Salma Semakula and Mrs. Rehema Sengendo

Mrs. Salma Semakula, a Health Coach specializing in Nutrition, Weight Management and Wellness together with Mrs. Rehema Sengendo a registered Nurse gave a Nutrition Presentation in which they stressed the importance of Healthy Eating habits. The audience was urged to eat proper balanced, well portioned and real food -at least five meals a day as opposed to the poor processed and ‘chemicalized’ foods which are usually fast and eaten frequently in the day.


They also advised the audience to become label detectives, to know their health numbers, drink plenty of pure water and to exercise their bodies as much as they could in order to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, low self esteem, infertility, all that come as a result of the poor lifestyle eating.


Drug and Alcohol Addiction Presented by Dr. Josephine Ssenkungo:

Dr. Ssenkungo was another invited speaker all the way from New Mexico were she heads educational programs and spoke on the topic: Drug and Alcohol Addiction. Being a parent and a member of UWAI, she reiterated that the Education Workshop was for everyone who sought and treasured education, and took advantage of the free presentations and the tremendous knowledge shared. She recommended this workshop be implimented annually to increase sensitization within our community and to better serve and provide adequate productivity of our future generations that are well- equipped with all the academic resources available to them.


Giving hope to Addicts and FamiliesPresented by Mr. Frank Goodrich, Director – Program Development Teen Challenge Center:

Mr. Goodrich reported that 370 million people worldwide struggle with drug abuse.  2.5 million People die from their addiction each year.  6,849 deaths every day. 285 deaths per hour 5 deaths per minute because of drug addiction. At Teen Challenge we offer the “Proven cure for the drug epidemic” our answer is found in the Scripture.  We come at addiction from a biblical perspective and draw from the wisdom of God.  Teen Challenge has been the vessel that God has used to save 3 generations in my family.  I am grateful for the ministry of Teen Challenge and very grateful for the opportunity that was afforded us to come and share our story with the Ugandan Women’s Association International.


UWAI would like to extend special thanks to the Mayor of Waltham,  Dr. Michael Kisembo and Mr. Ssebunya of Multi-Professional Partners, Hajji Kasozi of the Uganda Moslem Community, The Patel Brothers, Hajat Safiina, Dunkin Donuts of Waltham, Karibu Restaurant, Ms. Veronica Birungi of DD’s Day Care, Mr. Sydney Jiingo, those who did the catering and Mr. Ronnie Mayanja of the Ugandan Diaspora News for their partnership, time, services and monetary contributions.  Rev. Nakyeyune, Mrs. Robinah Katende, Pastor Mutyaba and Mr. Kato Kajubi the Kabaka’s Representative in Boston – thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to attend community event.

Special thanks to the UWAI Workshop Organizing Committee Members:

Mrs. Peace Seninde, Workshop Committee Chairperson

Mrs. Salma Semakula, Workshop Co-Chairperson

Dr. Josephine Ssenkungo – Workshop Advisor

Ms. Dorothy Lubowa – President, UWAI

Ms. Annet Nazziwa – Interim Secretary – UWAI

Ms. Harriet Nakamanyisa – Publicity – UWAI

Ms. Annet Nantongo – UWAI Member

Mrs. Rehema Sengendo – UWAI Member

Ms. Patricia Kyoyotera – UWAI Member – Youth

Stay tuned and check back for the full event photo gallery!

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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