Finding 社区, Half a World Away
Student 哔叽Kikonda found a new home at 全球十大赌博靠谱平台 — 7,000 miles from his African upbringing.
"If you'd told me two years ago that I'd be where I am today, I never would have believed it,Kikonda说.
Kikonda, who will graduate from 加州大学克莱蒙特学院 this summer with a double major in Computer Networking Systems and Computer System Support 技术, was born in Africa and moved frequently around the continent as a child, his family following his father's career as a manager with Catholic Relief Services. 到18岁, 基孔达曾在刚果生活过, 尼日利亚, 布隆迪, 和几内亚, where he graduated from a French high school. The family currently resides in Zambia, where Kikonda also spent a year figuring out his future following graduation. He had been accepted to a French university in Lyon, 法国, but wanted to attend an English institution instead; his father offered options in Johannesburg or London.
"But I really wanted to come to the States,Kikonda说. An uncle in Cincinnati made UC an attractive option. "U.S. culture was so fascinating to me. I dreamed about it but wasn't sure it was going to happen. I knew it was going to be tough on my dad. I told him I would do well if he believed in me, and he did. He said, 'I want you to get the best education possible.“所以他把我送到这儿来了. 这对他来说是一大步."
However, another hurdle loomed for Kikonda — the language barrier. While he had gleaned some English skills from watching American movies and TV shows, Kikonda had never received any formal training. He grew up speaking French and Lingala, a native African language. But as soon as he arrived at 全球十大赌博靠谱平台, his fears dissipated. "I stepped foot on campus and realized it was a small, friendly place,Kikonda说. “这不是压倒性的, 但是开始上课, because I'm not used to math or psychology in English, 例如." At the beginning of his first semester, Kikonda told each of his professors that he was transitioning from French to English. "They were all understanding and helpful. They would always work with me one-on-one if I needed it. That's what actually got me to where I am today. That helped me to focus and work harder."
没过多久, Kikonda jumped headfirst into the 全球十大赌博靠谱平台 experience: Today, he is a math tutor and supplemental instruction leader at The Learning Center (now the Academic Success Center); captain of the men's soccer team; and a student ambassador, giving tours and welcoming potential students to campus. "If I get an email that reads 'get involved,“是的。, 几乎不假思索,Kikonda说, who particularly loves to share his experience with the tour groups he leads. "If I can make it through my journey the way I did, anyone can do anything. Doubt and fear are meant to hold you in one place. Anyone is capable of doing anything they set their mind to. If I can inspire even one person to pursue their potential, I'll feel like I've succeeded."
It's that involvement and commitment to 全球十大赌博靠谱平台 that led Kikonda's advisors to nominate him for the university's Spirit of 社区 Award, an honor given to one student from each college who exemplifies a high standard of contribution to student life both within their college and the campus community. And as he prepares to transition to UC's College of Education, 刑事司法, 人类服务, and Information 技术 this fall to earn his bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, Kikonda knows he will miss the campus that has served as his foundation and introduction not just to higher education, 而是美国人的生活.
“成长, it was fun to meet new people and try new things, 但是没有大本营,Kikonda说. "At 全球十大赌博靠谱平台, I finally feel like I've come home."