With the Clarity of Wisdom and the Weight of Responsibility

Mapenzi is one of our 2022 high school graduates. He gave us his permission to share a part of his journey as a high schooler and a soon-to-be freshman at Chico State.

Mapenzi wears many hats. He is a responsible older brother, a father figure, a co-bread winner, and a student applying for scholarships, playing sports, and finishing homework late into the night. He cooks, cleans, pays the bills, and drives his mom to work. It is truly difficult to describe him in a few words because his life and the responsibilities that have fallen on his shoulders as a teen are unbelievable. Despite the innumerable challenges that he has experienced in his life, but especially during the pandemic, he sees and lives life with an incredible clarity of wisdom.

In conversation, he has shared thoughts and words that are etched with the weight of responsibility but with wisdom far beyond his years. He “is trying to be a good brother and a good son.” He wonders whether “other high schoolers do the things that he has to do.” He told us that we could write about him if it would “inspire others and bring awareness.”

This past summer, Mapenzi’s family moved across the USA. In a new state, a new city, Mapenzi had to help his family settle in and ensure that their housing, finances, school enrollment, and job security were in order before heading to Chico to start his first year of college. He recently shared the news that he made it to Chico with peace in his heart knowing that his family is in a good, stable place. He did it.

This year, Mapenzi received a $2,000 scholarship from the Jodi Maroney Memorial Fund which was created in 2019 to remember a dedicated tutor and U.S. Marine, Jodi Maroney, who passed away. He was one of seven students to receive a scholarship. Together, the scholarships awarded this year totaled $8,000.

THANK YOU to Jodi’s husband, family, friends, and other generous contributors for making this possible.

Help us to continue to support students like Mapenzi.

Give to the Jodi Maroney Memorial Fund here.

Mapenzi volunteering at our Bike Day

About Mimi Lee

Mimi started volunteering for SDRT in 2016 and currently serves as its Middle & High School Director. She met her husband at SDRT, and they live together in City Heights. She has her Master's in Education and teaching credential in English Language Arts.


  1. Lynn Hanson-Rowe on September 2, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Love this family

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