A brilliant lady named Melissa Kariuki’s journey to becoming the first in her family to earn a Master’s degree is a story of determination, hard work, and perseverance. On the 26th of June, she graduated with a Master of Management Science from Tsinghua University, which is considered the top university in Asia. She completed the program in just 10 months as a Patrice Motsepe Fellow on a full scholarship as part of the Schwarzman Scholars program.
This achievement is even more special to Melissa because of her great-grandmother’s story. Her great-grandmother only attended primary school and worked as a helper for most of her life. She was not able to participate in high school or university, but she worked hard, saved her money, and invested in real estate. Today, at 101 years old, she is living joyfully off of rental income. Melissa’s great-grandmother has always inspired her, and she always encouraged her to educate herself.
Melissa is also the first Kenyan woman to be awarded the Schwarzman Scholarship. She feels proud to be able to represent her country and to show up in spaces where black, African women are the minority.
One of the highlights of Melissa’s journey was writing her thesis. She wrote it on NFTs, cryptocurrency, and Web3, with a focus on adoption and regulation in China. Her advisor, Professor Ronaldo Lemos, graded it 99%, which is a testament to her hard work and dedication. Melissa is now looking forward to doing more in the NFT and blockchain space.
Melissa’s achievement is a source of inspiration to many. It shows that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve their dreams. She is grateful to everyone who supported her and journeyed with her, including Aly Madhavji, Sigli Mumuni, Vidette Adjorlolo, Arinze Obiezue, Jeremiah Kobby Sekyi, Laura Chavez-Varela, Mikaela Rabb, Jane Kamau, Carryl Masibo, and the Schwarzman Scholars program.
Melissa’s story reminds us that education is a powerful tool that can change lives and break barriers. She hopes that her achievement will inspire others to pursue their dreams and to never give up, no matter how difficult the journey may be.