On the Road: Minnesota Connection to African Girls' School

Updated: 10/01/2013 2:02 PM KSTP.com By: Heidi Enninga

When a young Minnesota student went to Kenya to further his studies, he learned lessons that changed his life.

Ryan Sarofolean met a man in a bar near east Africa's largest slum, who told him of his dreams to start a soccer club for local girls and teach them academics at the same time.

That encounter became the beginning of a connection that grew rapidly. Ryan returned home to Minnesota and began raising money to help create a unique school in one of the world's most deprived places.

Today, the Kibera Girls' Soccer Academy is a thriving teaching establishment where young women who faced a life of misery now have a chance to compete - not only in soccer, but for coveted places in Kenya's universities.

They have excelled at both. Many girls have gone on to further their education, and the soccer team, yes there is one, is among the most competitive in the country. They even traveled from the slums they live and work in to one of the most upper crust, prestigious schools in Kenya and beat them in soccer.

They certainly live up to their slogan: "We reduce poverty and gender inequality in the Kibera slums of Niarobi, Kenya by providing resources for local leaders to empower their communities through education.