Don't be fooled by her size. This Kenyan sixth-grader knows how to own an audience.
It's hard to believe she's so young.
What are the chances a sixth-grader from the biggest slum in Kenya ends up on stage in New York City, speaking to thousands of people?
Not very great, but Eunice Akoth did it. She's living her dream.
Eunice's dreams aren't exactly uncommon for a girl her age: to travel the world and to become a doctor. But the possibility of seeing them through is extra difficult simply because of where she was born.
Between unemployment rates, gender discrimination, and violence in her slum of Kibera — it's a long road out for girls like her.
"Most of the kids in Kibera are raped, some are neglected by their parents, some are homeless," Eunice said at the Women in the World summit. “Most of them have dreams, but they don't know how they can achieve them."
She's starting to figure out how to achieve her own with some welcomed help.
The first-ever all-girls school opened up in Kibera, and it's changing the future.
It's called the Kibera School for Girls, and as an all-girls school, it's putting a much-needed focus on girls by giving them an education free of charge and pushing them to dream and work toward a brighter future. It's the first of its kind in the area, and Eunice is a star student.
In a lot of places, going to school isn't a given. Especially for girls.
Eunice says that "growing up as a girl in Kibera is hard work, but if you trust in yourself, you can make it here." She believes in herself and her school believes in her, too. She even spoke in New York City at the 2015 Women in the World Summit, along with the founders of her school. (I guess she can mark a trip to NYC off of her list!)
She traveled from Kenya to New York City to deliver a poem about a dream she has.
You can tell how much Eunice values her education when you hear the poem she wrote for all of the children she knows in Nairobi, Kenya. Here's an excerpt:
She's going places. Keep an eye on her.
Don't miss her poem from 0:00-1:35. And if you've got time, stick around for the Women in the World panel afterward on how education can help break the cycle of poverty for girls in Kenya and around the world.