Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: September 07, 2011

SUCCESS STORY: From Misery to Med School

At the impressionable age of three, Teddy's life was turned upside down. His parents split up, and his mother was left alone to fend for the young family. They struggled to make ends meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a city plagued by poverty and despair.

Teddy, as it turned out, was a highly gifted student who excelled in public elementary school. But the opportunity to realize his full potential – and to break free from his impoverished life – could have been out of reach if not for a fateful conversation with one of his teachers.

Upon completing grade school, Teddy set his sights on the top high schools in the area – only to become discouraged by their high cost of tuition. That's when the teacher recommended Don Bosco – a school totally unknown to Teddy.

Not only was Don Bosco much more affordable than the other schools, it offered an irresistible incentive: students who maintained a 95 average could attend free of charge.

Teddy was immediately impressed – and surprised – that a little-known school could provide such an exceptional education. When reflecting on the qualities that make Don Bosco special, Teddy is quick to highlight the close bond between teachers and students. "The teachers are much more accessible than at other schools," he says. "There is a lot of opportunity to express ones self and explore talents."

Teddy wasn't the only one to thrive at Don Bosco. He explains that – unlike the other quality schools which cater to the wealthy – the vast majority of students at Don Bosco come from poor families. "They are getting a much better education than they ever could in public school," he explains.

Teddy also gives the Salesians credit for improving the epidemic of street children in his hometown. "The problem is pretty bad, but it is getting better because the Salesians provide for the street children and help them mature and gain valuable knowledge," he says. "I'm now noticing that some of them who have grown up are getting good jobs like scientists, engineers and doctors – thanks to Don Bosco."

Teddy is also a Salesian success story. Having graduated at the top of his class at Don Bosco High School – and earning free tuition by consistently maintaining an average above 95 — he now embarks on the next phase of his inspiring life: Medical School.

The achievements of young people like Teddy are made possible through the generosity of caring friends like you. Your gift today can help inspire the next success story.