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Visionary Leader, Extraordinary Life

Visionary Leader, Extraordinary Life

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April 22nd 2013:A Shining New Opportunity for Girls: The Courageous Vision of Emerging Explorer Kakenya Ntaiya

Inside the walls of the new Kakenya Center for Excellence in a remote district of Kenya, 155 girls are thriving thanks to the determination, optimism and sheer will of National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kakenya Ntaiya. Once a village girl herself, Kakenya bargained with her father to continue her education past the tradition age of 13 in exchange for participating in the local tradition of female genital circumcision. Today, in the region's first and only primary school for girls, students learn about health and leadership in addition to rigorous academics. Join Host Kate Ebner for an inspi

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Kakenya Ntaiya

Life for Kakenya Ntaiya was supposed to follow the traditional path. Engaged at age 5, she was to be circumcised by the age of 13, an event that would mark the end of her education and signal her readiness for marriage. But Kakenya had a different plan. First, she negotiated with her father: she would be circumcised only if she could also finish high school. He agreed. Then she negotiated with the village elders to do what no girl had ever done: leave her village in Kenya to go to college in the U.S. She promised that she would use her education to benefit her community. After receiving a Masters in the U.S., Kakenya is now fulfilling her promise to her community. As the founder of Kakenya C
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