Breaking Barriers, Inspiring Futures: Lucy's Journey of Resilience and Triumph

By Annabel Mumba
Annabel Mumba is AYC’s Donor Relations Coordinator in Zambia. She is a Scholarship Fund recipient, high school graduate and current college student, and also one of our Success Stories.

Co-written by Pamela O’Brien, African Education Program’s Development Director, who is mentoring Annabel as she pursues a journalism degree.


Lucy stands proudly in front of the AYC sign in her graduation gown.

In 2011, Lucy stepped through the doors of the Amos Youth Centre (AYC), a resilient ninth-grader with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a burning desire to make a positive impact in the lives around her. As she quickly acclimated to her new environment, Lucy found herself drawn to the vibrant atmosphere of the Debate, Poetry and Drama Clubs where the pursuit of academic excellence intertwined seamlessly with the camaraderie of like-minded youths, all striving for greatness.

At the time, secondary school fees were mandatory and she was relieved to know that AYC’s sponsorship program meant that she could focus on her studies rather than worry about school fees.

Born into a family of five, Lucy faced financial challenges with a father working as a painter and a mother as a hairdresser. Undeterred by adversity, Lucy, the firstborn, set her sights on wanting more from her life.

Her journey reached a significant milestone when she proudly became the first graduate in her family. Thanks to AYC’s College Scholarship Fund, Lucy received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Zambia where she minored in Religious Studies and History.

Lucy is an inspiration for her siblings. Two of them are now chasing their dreams at the University of Zambia with one diving into veterinary medicine and the other into medicine and surgery while the younger two are working to complete their grade 12 education.

Right out of university, Lucy did her teaching practice at Mazabuka Girls Secondary School and then joined AYC as an Entrepreneurship Coordinator, facilitating the Women’s Business Training and financial literacy lessons for the secondary school students and high school graduates.

A Chosen Career Path

Lucy's commitment to her childhood dream of being a role model to her younger peers then took tangible form in her career as a Program Officer for The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Zambia National Office. Here, she not only connects with but positively influences numerous youths, shaping their paths through meaningful interactions. The impact of her role extends beyond professional boundaries, becoming a catalyst for positive change in the lives of many.

AYC played a pivotal role in shaping Lucy's mindset, liberating her from the shackles of her past and revealing a world brimming with opportunities. As a graduate and alumna, Lucy stands tall within her community, a testament to the transformative power of hard work and positive companionship. Her life exemplifies the profound impact of education and mentorship, proving that one can rise above challenges and become an inspiration to others.

A Bright Future Ahead

Looking ahead, Lucy envisions a future marked by self-improvement and further contributions to society. Her aspirations include pursuing a Master's degree in public relations, a testament to her unwavering dedication to enhancing her skills. Recognizing the importance of effective communication, Lucy also plans to learn sign language, recognizing it as a valuable and necessary skill that transcends professional and personal spheres. As an alumni of AYC, we hope to see her volunteer with our Read for Rose Special Education Program one day!

In essence, Lucy's success story is a symphony of resilience, hard work, and the indomitable spirit that arises from the transformative power of education and mentorship. Her journey not only defies the limitations imposed by circumstances but stands as an enduring testament to the potential within every individual to overcome challenges and inspire others along the way. Lucy's story is one of breaking barriers, shaping destinies, and illuminating the path for others to follow.


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