In 2015, MindLeaps opened its center in Kigali, Rwanda, welcoming street kids and vulnerable youth to a safe place where they were given a lunch meal and enjoyed a fun dance program. Fiston was among the first kids to join the program.
Fiston had never danced before, and he thought dance was a waste of time. At first, he didn’t attend classes regularly, and even when he came to the MindLeaps center, he couldn’t focus. “In the beginning, dance seemed like a waste of time and energy. I never imagined dance would influence my life. With time though, I fell in love with dance, and my confidence and hope started building. Seeing other kids getting school sponsorship encouraged me to work harder so that I could also have a chance to go to school,” Fiston recalls.
Fiston decided to take his life seriously, and eventually he got school sponsorship. He continued to amaze in his academic performance and his commitment to improving his English. His leadership skills were evident as he engaged his MindLeaps’ colleagues in creating new choreography during school breaks.
After a long journey, Fiston’s hard work paid off when he finished high school last year. While he waits for government sponsorship to go to college, Fiston volunteers full time with MindLeaps, assisting in dance and IT classes, and helping out with administrative tasks. “I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who supported me in becoming the person I am and hope to be. In 2018, I graduated high school in Computer Science, and I hope to get a college degree in Software Engineering, and then use my skills to make the world a better place.”