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Scholarship recipient Maureen Ocholla encourages diversity

From a children’s home in Nairobi, Kenya to a cabin aboard the MV World Odyssey, International Student Advancement Scholarship recipient Maureen Ocholla has an incredible story, one she is determined to share with her fellow students during the Spring 2017 voyage of Semester at Sea. It is part of what she sees as her mission on board; to embrace the unique community of voyagers that only those who sail with Semester at Sea experience.

“A lot of the time little differences that we have keep us away from our friends and end up making us build bad relationships, so I want to look at the differences in our lives as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block,” Ocholla said. “I want to spread the kindness that I got on Semester at Sea and explain to people around the world and show people that differences can make us strong and not just tear us apart.”

In a shipboard community filled with people from many different nationalities and walks of life, Ocholla defines Semester at Sea as “the perfect global experience.”

“Semester at Sea encompasses everything that a student needs to do and see in order to get out of their comfort zone, in order to achieve and dream big and want to do bigger things in life,” Ocholla said.

Seeing the ship for the first time left Ocholla speechless and full of emotion. With an itch in her feet and an open mindset, she is grateful for this opportunity to experience the world. It is her belief that the world is a good place, but we can make it better, and this is her way of encouraging others to do just that.

“My story will not be my story alone from now on,” Ocholla said. “It’s going to be a story that will inspire someone else to do the same thing, or even better.”

Watch the video above for Ocholla’s full story.

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