Passion with an Impact


BY HANA KAJIMURA

At the end of this school year, I found out that I had been accepted to Stanford’s study abroad program in Cape Town, South Africa for next winter (January ’12- March ’12). As ecstatic as I am to be a part of such a competitive program and to embark on this adventure, questions and worries fill my mind. Where will I buy shampoo? What will the food be like? When I need a haircut, where will I go?

But more importantly, what will HIV and AIDS look like there?

I’m sure the landscape will look different than it does in the Bay Area. Much different. In 2009, Avert estimated that 5.7 million South Africans were living with HIV, a higher number than in any other country.

On a positive note, I hope this statistic allows me the greatest opportunity to have an impact. I would like to share a story with you that I came across last summer during all the World Cup hype, about a woman using her own passions and skills to impact the lives of South African youth in a new way. I hope she inspires you to know your strengths and to use them to fight this disease. And I hope my story someday looks a little like hers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/sports/soccer/11aids.html

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