Rita Akter

This is Rita Akter (20) sitting on her bed, which doubles as a desk, bookcase and a wardrobe. Rita is one of the 9 students who graduated from high school this summer.

Rita lives with her older sister’s family in Dhaka, her mother and father are farmers in her village, which is a couple of hours’ bumpy drive from the capital. Rita occupies a tiny room on the veranda, where she sleeps and does her homework – this is all her sister’s family can afford for her at the moment.

This ambitious young lady is determined to make a change for herself and her family and has applied for admission at Southeast University in Dhaka, where she wants to complete a BBA course. Rita wants to become a businesswoman, but she hasn’t yet had her million Dollar idea.

“I am proud of my achievement and thankful to Maria for helping me for the past 11 years. Without help for tuition fees I could not study in a private college in Dhaka.

I miss my parents a lot, but that won’t stop me from getting a good education. Apart from being the first person in my family to finish 12 grades, I also hope to be the first one to graduate from university and get a job that is better paid than farming. I hope and pray that I will be accepted at the university and will be able to get a part-time job to pay for my studies.”