Introducing Imena Grade

March 12, 2015

Agahozo-Shalom is comprised of four grades, and within each grade there are eight gender-based family households that provide the necessary support and attention every teenager deserves. Despite tremendous obstacles and trauma, our kids display impressive dedication, optimism, and hard work in every challenge they are presented with. These kids have the commitment to transform into the leaders of tomorrow, and follow in the footsteps of legendary trailblazers before them. 

To represent each student's capacity for social impact, each grade decides on a word that best characterizes what they want their class to exemplify. Then each of the eight families individually conducts research and debates for a “family name” to honor a historical role model. This role model will be the name of their family for all four years at ASYV, and will serve as encouragement and inspiration as the students in each family pursue comparable achievements and characteristics that define their family namesake.    

From this day forward, the new grade will no longer be known as Enrichment Year, but instead IMENA. Imena is a term used to describe one of the highest categories of heroes in Rwandan culture and history. It describes people who show great loyalty and sacrifice for their country and the greater good.  

Below are pictures of each of the families in IMENA grade with their new family name :

Neil Armstrong Family: “Neil Armstrong’s accomplishment of landing on the moon demonstrates two of the core values we believe in: role model and commitment” –ASYV Student Rivaldo 

Alexander the Great Family: “We chose him because Alexander the Great was very committed for conquering his country of Macedonia, which he could not have done without the  support of his armies. He also had self-confidence because he could not do such a thing without confidence in himself. He didn’t fear being young, but instead he showed his talent.” – Family Member Arsene 

Maya Angelou Family: “The reason of picking Maya Angelou was that Maya Angelou was creative and confident and did not give up when she failed. She was a poet and a singer. One way I was inspired by her was that when she became pregnant she did not give up on her talents. She continued doing the work she used to do.” – Family Member Diane 

Abigail Adams Family: “We chose Abigail Adams because she is the one who promoted the rights of women and she was always wanting to learn more.” – Family Member Liliose 

Frederick Douglas Family: “I am so excited that Frederick Douglass is the name for our family first because he fought for rights for slaves and women. He believed in people being equal no matter who they are.” – Family Member Cynthia 

Queen Esther Family: “Queen Esther is humble and loyal to her people which is why we chose her. We too want to fight for our country and people’s development and happiness” – Family Member Desange

Susan B. Anthony: “She fought for women’s rights to vote” – Family Member Merci

Woodrow Wilson Family: “Woodrow Wilson was a man who fought for good in order to destroy many future world wars.” – Family Member Hussein

Submitted by Shelby Sullivan, 2015 Village Fellow