Peggy Mativo-Ochola received her MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated from Harvard University where she majored in Chemistry and East Asian Studies. While volunteering at a rural school in Tanzania, Peggy began to truly understand the extent of overcrowding and understaffing characterizing the educational system in much of East Africa. In Kenya alone, the teacher shortage is estimated at 92,000 with the average public-school teacher charged with 52 students. To address this issue, Peggy launched PACE, which recruits and trains recent high school graduates to volunteer as teaching assistants at Kenyan schools. PACE offers a win-win solution for the volunteers, who receive valuable training and experience, and schools, which benefit from much-needed support in areas such as grading, tutoring, mentoring, and language instruction. Currently, PACE works with 44 schools in four regions of the country.
Since 2013, PACE recruited 676 youthful volunteers who received training in job readiness, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. Its work has resulted in increased academic performance in the schools and new extracurricular activities led by its fellows. Peggy mentors recent high school graduates to help them access university scholarships in the US, Rwanda, and South Africa. Peggy served as a board member of the International Youth Foundation.
As a Cheng Fellow, Peggy developed a Teacher Empowerment Network; a self-sustaining endowment fund whose returns are used to place and support teachers in understaffed schools in Kenya. All funds raised will be invested and reinvested by professional fund managers and only the returns will be used towards paying teachers. Her goal is to create a for-profit vehicle whose methodology can support sustainable impact across the education sector.