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Beatrice (right) at Clinton School ceremony.

On Saturday I saw something that made me feel great: Beatrice Biira walked across the stage, receiving her masters degree from the Clinton School of Public Service.

Many people are familiar with her story. In 1994 Beatrice was featured in a Heifer video — because of the gift of a Heifer goat, this nine-year-old Ugandan girl in her torn red dress was able to fulfill a dream and begin first grade.

But that was just the beginning. She learned quickly and was soon able to attend a private school in Kampala.

The subject of Beatrice’s Goat (published by Simon & Schuster and a best seller on The New York Times Illustrated Children’s Book list), Beatrice appeared on many radio and television shows, including “Good Morning America” and “60 Minutes.” Oprah Winfrey once flew Beatrice in from Uganda to surprise her guest, Heifer supporter Susan Sarandon.

Through the help of Rosalee Sinn, Dick Young and others, Beatrice received scholarships to attend a prep school and later Connecticut College (with a degree in International Development and Gender Studies). She has interned for Sen. Hillary Clinton and for the Clinton Foundation, shared the stage with President Clinton, and had a theory named for her by Economist Jeffrey Sachs for whom she later worked. (The “Beatrice Theorum” says that small inputs can lead to big outcomes!)

Beatrice is a testament to both the power of a goat (and the training that came with it) and to what can happen when young people have access to quality education.

I’m proud to have Beatrice Biira as a friend and wish her the best as she continues to serve others and prove her Theorum.


Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.