SI Graduate Spotlight: Ashley Keriako – A dream takes flight


Can you believe it – Ashley’s about to graduate with her diploma!  Though she first set her sights on aviation, undertaking a one year aviation course, memories of  a high school Model United Nations  conference let her wings find a different wind to soar – global diplomacy. And once she started studying IR at Strathmore, she just knew she’d found her calling. 

From a young age, Ashley was fascinated by international relations, courtesy of her involvement in the Kenya Model United Nations while in high school. 

A legacy had shaped this journey; her deep admiration for her father, a Strathmore alum, motivated her to embrace her place at Strathmore. Seeing his values reflected in her own, the decision was easy. And boy, did she make the mark! Her admiration for him was akin to a flame ignited by a spark, and it fanned the fuel of her aspiration.

Her Strathmore journey was vibrant! From the  diplomatic rooms of the Strathmore – Kenya  Model UN, Ashley sharpened her diplomatic skills, her voice echoing in the corridors. Don’t let the grace fool you, though –  triumph hasn’t been without its trials. She recounts grueling sessions of business math, with her rock-solid squad of eight providing the boost needed for her to conquer the subject. 

Ashley credits her academic success to her friends, whom she fondly referred to as her personal ‘accountability team’. Together, they grappled with academic challenges such as business math  – pulling all-nighters for course assessments and exams. Her mantra, “surround yourself with success if you want to succeed,” speaks volumes about her philosophy on synergy and team spirit.

Between burning the midnight oil and pulling all-nighters for exams, Ashley made treasured memories at Strathmore. Her favorite? “I have so many fond memories, but one that stands out is when Bensoul and Nviiri performed at a concert on campus. It was an incredible experience, and I still smile whenever I think about it.”  An avid swimmer, Ashley found tranquil reprieve amidst academic rigor in the water’s calming embrace. Occasionally, she found solace in travels, but only if time allowed, as well as shopping.

Here’s what she has to say about her aspirations: “Teamwork is everything in global diplomacy. I’ve learned that from my experiences at Strathmore, and I’m excited to put those lessons to good use.The connections we make are really important, boosting our network.”

A homage to Strathmore’s stimulating environment is incomplete without a nod to the cherished moments preserved in her memory, such as soulful coffee and enlightening interactions and, of course, the books. It’s the quiet ambiance of the library that has been her sanctuary, the aroma of caffeine wafting from common areas, and spirited conversations that always stay with you. 

And now, as the world awaits her, Ashley’s passionate gaze is locked onto her next challenge – a Bachelor’s degree in IR. With a strong grounding in international law and global economics, she has embraced her identity as a relentless learner. 

Whether it’s academic achievements or learning about diverse cultures from her peers, Ashley’s curiosity knows no bounds. She is a testament to the enriching melting pot of Strathmore, having engaged with Rwandese, Uganda and Sri Lankan cultures, among others, during her time here and she is prepared to bring a fresh perspective to global diplomacy . 

Yet, beneath the veneer of the dynamic diplomat is a girl-next-door with a penchant for formal dressing. She chuckles about how odd casual dressing feels now, given the dramatic  overhaul her wardrobe underwent during her time at Strathmore.

With a  buzzing social life, an avid reader, swimmer, and a shopper, Ashley is a whirlwind of energy. She  actively engaged in extracurricular activities that complemented her studies in international relations. For instance, she has been a member of Kenya Model United Nations where she had the opportunity to attend conferences that acted as simulations of what happens in the United Nations. 

As she readies herself to don the graduation cap, Ashley gazes ahead at a future in International Relations – expressing her intent to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Now, as she is on the edge of graduating, she quips with a wink, “It’s hard for me to believe, but I am now graduating!” 

Ashley’s personal life is a mirror of her vibrant personality. Being an only child raised with the responsibility of a firstborn, she’s held her family close to her heart – a nucleus of love and support in a world of shifting international relations. Throughout her life, her mom has been her unwavering source of strength and my biggest cheerleader. Her endless support and love have been Ashley’s guiding light through every challenge and success. She states, “She’s not just a mother but  my best friend, confidant, and a role model. Her presence in my life is a gift I cherish every day, and I am endlessly grateful for the boundless love and encouragement she provides.”

“Does she have a special someone?” one might curiously ask. Well, as they say, “You meet your person ten times a day at STC”. Has she met hers? The answer to that query remains draped in the folds of her smile.

As the curtain begins to draw on her Strathmore days, Ashley is poised to launch onto a grander stage. From initially dreaming of navigating the skies, she now charts her path as a future diplomat. In this transformative rebirth, Ashley prepares to take flight once again, all set to mold our shared global landscape. And what a remarkable sight that will be!  


This article was written by Keith Albert.


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