Fridah Koech, the middle of seven children, was born in Kericho, Kenya to parents who provided a happy home and instilled the importance of getting a good education. She credits her mother as her inspiration because she “worked extremely hard to support my siblings and me. She is an advisor and a great mentor to me.”
Fridah immigrated to the U.S. in August of 2018 via an athletic scholarship and is pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse. Her inspiration to attend college came from her two older sisters, Mercy and Ashah, who also received scholarships to universities in the U.S.
While in Kenya, Fridah attended Londiani Girls High School. She remembered that she desired to be a security guard after graduation. She doesn’t remember why that was her goal, but she finds it humorous that her entire family knew that’s what she wanted to be when she “grew up.” Since then, she has changed her mind and would like to become a military nurse. Her eldest sister, Mercy, who served as a Medical Professional for the U.S. Navy, was her inspiration for this worthwhile goal.
After landing in America, Fridah thought she had arrived in “Paradise.” She had heard many stories over the years about the United States, and now she was finally here. She explained that the first few weeks were “crazy.” After one month, she started to feel at home in her new country. Because of her sisters’ assistance in catching her up in her studies, she felt more comfortable with America and the American lifestyle.
Currently Fridah, is a freshman in college, and she is excited about the memories that she will make over the next few years. She has an advantage over many new arrivals in that she already knew several of the student athletes because she trained with them in Kenya.
As a runner, Fridah hopes to ensure that her Spartans win championships while she is a part of their team. In discussing her experience as a college athlete, she remembered her training in Kenya and the upcoming athletes with whom she trained. She specifically mentioned athletes Beatrice Chebet and Sandra Chebet from Londiani Athletics Camp. She applauds these two athletes because of their long journey of persistence and patience. She admires how they are self-driven, and she thoroughly enjoyed her time training with them before she came to the States.
When thinking of home, Fridah laments, “I miss the way people live like neighbors everywhere, and the Kenyan food for sure.” She admits that it is “pretty tricky” living in the States because if you don’t have a source of income it can be hard to survive. If she had the opportunity to advise other student athletes from Kenya, she would tell them to ensure that they achieve the required Qualifying Running Times for their particular university. Her reasoning for this is because if the athlete doesn’t meet the required times, then they could possibly lose their scholarship.
In summary, Fridah is a Kenyan success story who came from a large Kenyan family to America to pursue her dreams. She has done it the old-fashioned way – hard work and discipline. She will leave you with these words – “You Have to Earn It. Nothing Comes Easy.”
Suggested Read: The Face of Kenya in USA With a Selfless Heart and a Lethal Mind