Sacred Heart almuna speaks about importance of education in Uganda


Mary Perez

Seniors Claire Kosewic and Asha Khanna speak with Betty Ogiel about her childhood in Uganda. Ogiel gifted the school a personalized plaque in the shape of Uganda as a symbol of gratitude.

Mary Perez, Senior Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE As part of the tour for her book, Against All Odds,” Betty Ogiel spoke during today’s chapel about her journey in receiving an education from Sacred Heart schools in Uganda, as well as the hardships she faced growing up.

“We like to show pictures or letters from students from Uganda write to show our students that connection we have to each other even though we might seem so far apart in the world,” Director of Student Life Devin DeMartini Cooke said. “Really putting a face to a name and getting to learn about someone so special in their community is powerful and makes that bond so much more obvious.”

Seniors Claire Kosewic and Asha Khanna asked questions to Ogiel during chapel to teach our community of her childhood and the measures she went to in order to receive an education.

“Before hearing [Ogiel] talk, I didn’t really notice how important education really was,” freshman Raphaelle Laluayux said. “She taught me how education is something we shouldn’t take for granted because it’s hard to get all around the world.”

Ogiel wrote the book for various reasons, including being able to encourage hope in others and to talk about the importance of education, according to Ogiel.

“I realized how different it is in other parts of the world and how hard Miss Betty had to work to get the same education that we do,” senior Halie Kim said. “Her writing the book is advocating for women’s education in Uganda, which really admirable. She revealed her own personal struggles for the sake of other girls like her.”

Although students may have participated in this past weekend’s Walk for Uganda, hearing Ogiel speak is a reminder of the people whose lives are changed by events like that, according to DeMartini Cooke.

“Having her speak really changes the reality. It’s not just a place on a map or a picture in The Broadview,” DeMartini Cooke said. “This is an alumna, this is someone who shares that same Sacred Heart education.”

Ogiel’s stories should inspire students to go further and change the world with their Sacred Heart educations, just as Ogiel did, according to DeMartini Cooke.

“She has such a sense of joy and pride in herself and her education with a  true gratitude of what it is to be educated and the charge to do something with it,” DeMartini Cooke said. “She acknowledges what education can do when you already have that strong foundation of who you already are. This is a person who is changing the world, and she attributes a lot of it to her education.”

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to Ogiel as a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart. She is an alumna of Sacred Heart schools, not an RSCJ.