12-07-2019  11:32 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Oregon to change policy after losing parental rights fight

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials who attempted to end the parental rights of a couple because of the parents' low IQs have reached an agreement with U.S. officials requiring the state follow federal civil rights laws.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Oregon Department of Human...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Family recounts heroics of fallen son in Pensacola shooting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to...

Venice tide barriers pass another test but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

Belarus eyes closer integration with Russia, fueling protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The leaders of Russia and Belarus sat down for talks Saturday on deepening ties...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians

Port-au-Prince (AP) — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and...

McMenamins
Teo Kermeliotis CNN

(CNN) -- She grew up in grinding poverty, losing both her parents at a tender age but 14-year-old whizz-kid Maud Chifamba has defied adversity and hardship to break academic records.

Against all odds, the extremely bright teenager has written history as last week she became the youngest ever university student in Zimbabwe -- as well as the whole of southern Africa, according to education officials.

Maud, who was born on November 19, 1997, has just started her studies toward a Bachelor of Accountancy Honors Degree at the University of Zimbabwe, the country's oldest and most esteemed educational institution. Her intellectual prowess and hard work have earned her a four-year scholarship of nearly $10,000 after she excelled at last year's Advanced Level exams.

Now, one week into her new life at the university, softly-spoken Maud already feels settled.

"I'm really enjoying it," she says with striking modesty. "It's better than what I expected. I'm just enjoying all the lectures."

Read related: 'The future of Zimbabwe is bright'

But before deservedly claiming a spot inside the university's vast lecture halls, finding herself amongst much older students, Zimbabwe's wunderkind had to overcome tremendous financial and social challenges.

Born to a poor family in the Hunters resettlement community in Chegutu, central Zimbabwe, Maud lost her father when she was just five years old. Her mother also passed away last year. Her two brothers, who are general workers at a farm, were unable to pay the fees required to keep her at formal school so Maud started studying vigorously at home all by herself.

Armed with determination, Maud put all her efforts into studying, embarking on a disciplined reading routine that lasted for several hours each day. "I studied very hard," she remembers. "For the biggest part of the day and even into the night," adds Maud.

Maud says the death of her parents made her realize that she would have to take her destiny into her own hands.

"It really motivated me to work harder because there was no one to take care of me except myself in the future," says Maud. "That was ... a motivator for me to have something to do with my life."

Gifted with natural intelligence, Maud's promising future was apparent from an early age. Her remarkable aptitude impressed her primary school teachers who decided to move her up from Grade 3 to Grade 6.

Aged nine, she took her final primary school examinations, where she obtained top marks for all of her subjects. Lacking financial support to undertake her high school education, Maud studied on her own and completed her Ordinary Level in just two years after skipping two forms.

Read: How 'Afropreneurs' will shape Africa's future

Her hard work paid off last December when she scored 12 points at her A-Level exams, an astonishing feat that earned the 14-year-old girl a place at the Harare-based University of Zimbabwe.

"It's phenomenal, especially if you consider that for her A-Levels she was not in formal school," says Gershem Pasi, the commissioner general of the Zimbabwean Revenue Authority, the body that's now sponsoring Maud's university education. "She was just reading by herself at home and her brothers only managed to pay the examination fee."

Munyaradzi Madambi, dean of students at the University of Zimbabwe, describes Maud as a "very warm and polite young woman," whose intelligence and maturity shines through.

"(She is) confident, efficacious and unique in the sense that you don't normally expect this position among kids from underprivileged backgrounds," he says.

Madambi says the university is committed to helping its wonder student develop into a balanced individual while fulfilling her dreams.

"We are making sure that she grows up to be a well-moulded, mature adult but of course without really suffocating her or putting her under any pressure," he says.

Zimbabwe has an adult literacy rate of 92%, which is one of the highest in Africa, according to UNICEF. Madambi says people in the country have an "incredible and insatiable appetite for education."

"Normally those that come from underprivileged backgrounds, their desire is really to work hard and excel and of course Maud is an exceptional case in terms of intellectual prowess," he says.

Maud is now on course to conquer even greater heights, becoming Zimbabwe's youngest ever accountant when she graduates in four years time.

"My dream job is to become an accountant," she says.

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