Names are a funny thing. They are given to you at birth by parents who don't yet know you, and most of the time, they stick. But what you choose to be called, that is a different matter entirely. 

She was born with the name Sharon. When she was in 4th grade, she had a teacher named Topista that she loved, and decided to change her name. From then on, she always wrote Sharon Topista on her papers and documents. Life is a little bit like that, especially in a place like Nothern Uganda. You are born, you are given life circumstances that dictate a lot of who you are and what you do, but you also have the ability to change it, to be molded and blessed by the the people in your life. Topista's story is one of breaking free, of defying odds and becoming exactly who she wanted to be, through a sometimes unlikely set of events. 

Topista has overcome so much in her short life, from an abusive father to a lack of financial stability, her life at home was not an easy one. But she knew deep in her heart that she wanted to change the course of her future. So she walked three hours to RLA and was able to pave the way for the rest of her sisters to also attend the school. After attending RLA and then our sister school, Cornerstone, Topista set her sights on law school.  She feels continually pulled towards justice for underprivileged women and children. Topista is especially intrigued by criminal justice. She wants to do good work, and be a trusted lawyer that people will turn to when they need help. 

The day Topista found out she was admitted to law school was an incredible celebration. Here is what she remembers from that day: She ran, and felt like she was flying. She was staying in a house with 12 girls in Kampala, so she ran all around the house, screaming, “You people! I have gone through! I am going to be a lawyer!” . They made so much noise that day, but it didn’t even matter. She was so excited! She doesn’t even remember if she ate that day, and couldn’t stop smiling. Currently Topista is in Law School and we know with out a doubt that this girl will be a world changer.