I was one of the first members of the boarding component of the Academy and, as a result, I saw the programme grow from about 30 students living in two blocks to almost 200 across six blocks.
Despite the growth, residential students remained a tight-knit community where younger students felt comfortable interacting with student several grades above them. The commitment to serve the community was of the upmost importance within residential life at the Academy.
I recall taking part in cleaning Mama Ngina Drive, the street that ran adjacent to the school, as well as numerous beach clean ups, painting a local madrasa and facilitating a de-worming programme in Bombolulu to name a few. Students were also given the freedom to create their own community service projects.
I was a part of a project called Your Environmental Voice, an organisation that aimed to create awareness of environmental issues and undertake initiatives to curb unnecessary pollution in Mombasa. Projects like these allowed for students to lead and take ownership of projects that made a difference in the lives of those around us.