A Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) student has won the Top 35 under 35 award organized by the Youth Agenda in collaboration with the State department of Youth, anchored in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs. This is after she emerged the best in the recently concluded Tech category competition, Tuesday, August 12, 2021.
Charity Kithaka, a 3rd year Maths and Computer Science student in the College of Pure and Applied Sciences (COPAS) was honoured at the Youth Agenda offices in Nairobi, after she dazzled interviewers with her efforts of championing youth empowerment through various activities she is involved in, like building Tech Communities. Her exemplary efforts in helping youth familiarize and tap on the available opportunities especially in the Technology sector made her standout.
Through her online start-up company called Pezetu, which she co-founded with a friend, Charity impacts youth with practical, technological and entrepreneurial skills through webinars, holding physical events, and providing online modules on how to get funding for their businesses.
“I am really passionate about technology, a reason why I use it to express myself through the making of various products,” She asserted.
She says her love for computer technology goes back to her secondary school days. Charity who is a programmer points out that her excelling in Sciences and Mathematics while in school motivated her to join computer classes when she joined JKUAT.
“I believed I would be a programmer as I was really good at solving both Mathematics and science questions and this encouraged me to join computer classes. I knew technology was my thing, and when I joined University I endeavored to meet professionals in my field, a move that led me to join various groups like Anita B.org in a bid to build my capacity and interact with women professionals in my field,” the programmer stated.
Charity further reveals that she was the only Kenyan student to be part of Google inside Look EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa), where students excelling in the Tech sector are picked and taken to the Google Office to interact with Tech professionals as well as gain an inside look at software engineering. This year’s tour happened to take place virtually due to Covid-19.
On the award, Charity says she was nominated by a close friend, adding that she was delighted her work in helping the youth was being acknowledged. She hopes to continue in this vein to ensure youth are uplifted and given invaluable information on opportunities’ they can leverage, thus curving their own niche, especially in the Tech sector.
Charity urges the youth to embrace technology and ensure they get mentors as well as advocates to help them boost their visibility so as to give them a proper base that would ultimately catapult their careers to greater heights.
The award which recognizes the commendable work the youth are doing in different sectors while contributing to Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), Vision 2030 and Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda takes place annually on August 12th, during the International Youth Day. The 35 winners drawn from various fields during the occasion (35 is the age set for the competitors,) go through a one-year mentorship programme.