Meet the 68-year-old 10th-grader who knows a thing or two about never giving up.

Each morning, Durga Kami puts on his school uniform and prepares for another day of 10th grade. But not before he brushes his woolly, white beard.

Because unlike most 10th-grade students, Durga Kami is a 68-year-old grandfather.

Kami, a father of six and grandfather of eight, lives by himself in a one-room house in Syangja, Nepal. Photographer Navesh Chitrakar of Reuters followed Kami as he experienced a typical school day.


Durga Kami sits outside his house in Syangja, Nepal. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters.

Kami grew up poor, and his family couldn't afford to keep him in school as a child.

Though he was unable to complete his studies, Kami never gave up on his dream of pursuing his education and one day becoming a teacher. Following his wife's death 15 years ago, Kami decided to work through his grief by returning to school. He even received a scholarship to cover his uniform and supplies.

Now in 10th grade, his 20 classmates call him Baa, which means father in Nepali. But even though he's old enough to be their grandfather, Kami isn't sitting on the sidelines.

Other than the fantastic beard, grandchildren, and decades of life experience, Kami is a lot like his classmates.

Six days a week, he walks more than an hour to Shree Kala Bhairab Higher Secondary School.

Kami makes his way to school with the aid of a walking stick. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters.

He's quick to participate in class and isn't ashamed to ask for help when he needs it.

Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters.

He even plays sports with his friends at lunchtime.

Kami sets the ball during a lunchtime volleyball match. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters.

Kami said he plans to study and learn for the rest of his life.

Not only that, but he hopes his effort encourages others to return to the classroom and improve their lives through education.

"If they see an old person with white beard like me studying in school they might get motivated as well," Kami told Reuters.

At night, Kami studies by flashlight; power outages are common. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters.

Though he's still years away from becoming a teacher, Kami's already espoused one of life's greatest lessons.

He's living proof that we can be do-ers, dreamers, and go-getters at any age. And with the right attitude, there's no limit to what any of us can do.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
True

Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

Keep Reading Show less
Jeff Bridges photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikicommons

An image from Jeff Bridges' personal note on his website

Way to bury the lead, Jeff! Yesterday's news of Jeff Bridges' cancer remission revealed the beloved Hollywood icon also faced COVID 19, which had him hospitalized for over a month. This put many things on hold, including filming for his new FX thriller series Old Man.

Taking on chemotherapy is no easy task. Pile that onto losing smell, restricted breathing, and medical isolation, and anyone would want to throw in the towel. But for the ever optimistic Bridges, dealing with two health crises simultaneously became a beautiful life lesson, which he shared in a handwritten letter found on his website.


Keep Reading Show less