Isaac* was supposed to enter the third grade when he joined his new family at the SOS Children’s Villages in Jos. After doing poorly on the entrance exam, however, Isaac was placed in the second grade.
That was about three years ago. Since then, Isaac, 11, has emerged as one of the best students in his SOS primary school, not to mention one of the best students in his state. In fact, the results he earned for a recent standardized math exam were the best in his county and second-best in all of Plateau State, which is home to more than 3 million people.
Isaac's academic success is even more impressive when viewed within the context of his challenging childhood.
His mother died when she gave birth to him; his father died when he was just a toddler. His grandmother took over responsibility for him, but she was hardly able to care for herself let alone Isaac. After finding him malnourished and improperly dressed for school, the state’s welfare department placed Isaac under the care of his new SOS mother at the SOS Village in Jos in 2011.
"I didn't have any dream until I came to the SOS school where I started to think about having a good dream and future ambition," Isaac said in a recent conversation with his SOS family in Jos.
Today his dream is to become an astronaut.
His SOS family describes Isaac as a studious boy who acts as a role model for other children at his SOS village. His SOS mother Victoria added that he is even-tempered with a loving personality. He takes an active role in class at the SOS school, where he is the assistant head boy for his 5th-grade class.
*The child's name was changed to protect his privacy.
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