Rosarian Academy Teams Up with Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative to Inspire Students in Kenya and West Palm Beach

Rosarian Academy teacher Mildred Acosta gave a presentation on her experiences teaching in Kenya this summer to Rosarian Academy fourth through eighth-grade students in the Rosarian theater on Wednesday, February 8.

In coordination with the local nonprofit Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative, Mrs. Acosta and her son, Santino Merchan, a seventh-grade student at Rosarian, traveled across the world this July to immerse themselves in the culture of rural Western Kenya, teaching and collaborating at a school run by the local nonprofit.

In her presentation, Acosta discussed how she became involved with Kijana School’s Care, Share, and Explore Program which aims to teach students to protect and value all life on earth–human, animal, and plant–and share their teaching and learning with neighboring communities.

Her presentation provides Rosarian students with a glimpse of life in a different culture, and the shared environmental efforts of students in West Palm Beach and Kenya, and inspires students to do their part to serve our global community.

At the conclusion of Acosta’s presentation, eighth-grade members of the National Junior Honor Society, a merit-based organization with membership awarded based on students’ scholarship, leadership, character, service, and citizenship, remained just outside the theater to place on display the 50 posters of the “Kijana Heroes” poster series, a collaboration between the Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative and local graphic artist, Claire Salmon. The Kijana Heroes poster series celebrates Black History Month by featuring prominent black men and women throughout history and encouraging educational cross-cultural development.


Kijana, a nonprofit founded by lifelong educator Jim Cummings, operates in the U.S. (North Palm Beach, FL) and in Kenya–promoting and cultivating youth empowerment through educational development, cross-cultural dialogue, and sustainable and environmentally-friendly economic growth, among under-served Kenyan school communities and American school communities.

The Kijana Heroes poster series features 10 new posters of prominent historical figures, including Amanda Gorman, George Washington Carver, Edwidege Danticat, Jason Reynolds, Julia Greeley, Rihanna, St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Martin de Porres, Thea Bowman, and Thurgood Marshall. The poster series’ distribution and displays have been made possible by the generosity of Stephanie & John Pew, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA, and Arcadia Books.