12th October 2021

On Wednesday this week I had the pleasure of visiting Braeburn Mombasa for a few hours, only this time I was not coming to school as Steve von Aesch, former Headboy and student but as a visiting Alumni and Guest speaker at the weekly Secondary Assembly.

To be honest it felt like returning home straight away the moment I arrived at the school gates.

Waking up at exactly the same time I used to for years, getting ready and leaving the house to snake through the busy morning rush hour was nostalgic and when I finally walked into the assembly Hall at 8.00 a.m, I was pleasantly surprised to see that little had changed since I left back in 2017. The only difference was that I was no longer a student at Braeburn but I was now sitting at the back of the Hall in a totally different capacity as a visiting guest speaker. I must say the feeling was humbling but equally exciting.

I felt honoured as I was being introduced before I stood to speak at the High school assembly. As I shared with the students my experiences from the time I joined Braeburn as a Year 7 student, to my journey as a trained Aeronautical Engineer and aspiring airline Pilot, I couldn‘t hide the pride I always feel about being a product of Braeburn.

Immediately after the assembly, I was invited to join the Headmaster and the Assistant Headteacher at the Coffee morning chat with a few parents. This too was a great experience and later as I took a leisurely stroll around the school compound a feeling of nostalgia crept in, as I walked around what used to be my home for 7 years.

It was great catching up with everyone and I spent the morning chatting and answering questions. The Year 8 class I visited was my personal highlight of the day. This particular group was welcoming and eager to find out about the career path I had chosen and asked me a lot of curious but interesting questions. They were all keen to learn about the world of work, my job, aspirations and where I aspire to be in the not so far future. I had a lot of fun answering all their intelligent questions.

Later, a quick trip to the field and pool area led me to a face to face encounter with a few children from the Primary school who were equally curious about this stranger in uniform and after staring at me for some time, innocently asked me whether I was a “real Pilot”.

Words cannot describe how grateful I am for what I have become today. The continued support I have been getting from my friends, my family, and my colleagues is something one can only ever dream of. However had it not been for Braeburn, my second home, I would not be who I am today. Every single member of staff here has always helped me move along and whenever I thought I was going to hit that imaginary brick wall, there was always someone at school that would keep encouraging and helping me push through.

All in all, I had a great morning at school on Wednesday and I am looking forward to coming back next week to spend some time at the Primary school with the younger Year groups.

I wish everyone a nice weekend and as always would like to finish off with a little inspirational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is about hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”


By :

Steve von Aesch

Braeburn Alumni


Year 8 students’ messages after talking to our alumnus Steve Von Aesch

“He said his dream is to become a pilot/captain.” Femi

“He was inspired by going on a flight with his grandfather.” Ernest

“The speech told us to follow our dreams.” Ayaan

“His talk was about how hard he worked and where he is now and it was interesting and inspiring. It was also informative. He was inspired by a flight he took with his granddad at 9 years old. He told us to always follow our dreams. He has two licenses, one he got at 17 years old and the other when he was 19 years old.” Ana and Abhinav

“Anyone can become a pilot as long as they work hard and never give up.” Zahra

“Anyone can become whatever they want if they believe and work hard.” Fidel

“Anyone can become anything no matter their race, gender or ethnicity as long as they work hard.” Isaac

“He told us we can be anything as long as we try hard. He also told us when things seem hard we have to push ourselves through it. Steve said we have to keep a little passion in our heart and that it can help us through life.” Lauryn and Sean

“You can follow your dreams and keep dreaming for what you really want to become.” Mikaela

“You can accomplish anything if you just work hard and try!” Laaibah