Published: Wednesday, 05 Apr 2017
Author: The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Department: Office of the Dean
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Michigan State University (MSU) is proud to present a new video series, titled Scholar Stories. This project will follow five Scholars throughout their journey at MSU. In the first installation of our videos, you can hear the following Scholars talk about how they came to MSU, their experiences as a Spartan, and their visions for the future.
Violet Acumo, of Uganda, is a first year master's student studying public policy. She is the only living child of five her parents gave birth to. She see her survival as both a miracle and a responsibility. "I'm a first generation graduate so seeing me come this far is definitely setting the bar higher for those that I've left behind and it will create a legacy that others can grow from to go as high as they can reach. Because I believe, really, the only limit to your success is just how much you're willing to believe that you can get there."
Hailing from Lesotho, freshman Deiv Rakojoana studies actuarial science. Deiv remembers growing up with very low expectations from his community. However, he also remembers his grandmother who always encouraged him to aspire higher and never give up on his dreams. It is because of this foundation of hope that Deiv now imagines "a world where equality reigns and all lives matter no matter what."
First year master's student Simpson Kamugisha from Uganda is studying social work. It is because of his personal experience with abuse as a child that he grew into an advocate for the vulnerable in his community. "I want to defend the rights of people. I want to be an active advocate for the rights of everyone to make my country a better place."
Rebecca Guei, a freshman studying Psychology, came to MSU from Côte d'Ivoire. While in her home country, Rebecca observed that many societal problems could be a result of fractured homes and unhealthy familial environments. This has led her to focus on mental health in Africa. "I envision a world where children will be able to grow up psychologically, socially, and emotionally healthy, and I will contribute to this by helping families rediscover themselves, and their purpose."
The last Scholar Story focuses on Beninese Kevin Affoukou, who is a first year master's student studying Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics. Kevin believes that agriculture is the key to providing employment for women and youth, thereby improving their livelihoods and financial security, ultimately resulting in improved health and education for children. "I think that by contributing to help agribusinesses have access to a good market, that can help them continue to produce and transform and continue to employ women and youths in order to help them to improve their lives in turn."