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It served as a foundation to show the world my strength and ambition to become who I want to be.

Nzitonda is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); decided to take the GED test because he felt he was too old to enroll in a traditional high school.

Nzitonda came to the United States in March 2016 to live with a foster family. He had fled the DRC for Kenya, where he attended school for a short time before coming to the United States.

He had many motivations for obtaining this credential. First, he wanted to save time and earn his diploma earlier than he could by attending a four year high school. This led him to enroll in adult education classes at a local community college.

Nzitonda’s family was his second motivation. When he fled from his country, his nine siblings and mother were still in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Sadly, his father was killed during the war. Nzitonda hadn’t had contact with his family after he fled and believed they were all dead.

Once he escaped to Kenya, Nzitonda applied to come to the United States as a refugee and his application was approved. After living in the U.S. for a short period of time he was able to contact his brother through Facebook. He found out his brother was living in Kansas and that the rest of his family had made it safely to Kenya. He is now able to keep in touch with them on a consistent basis.

After he re-established contact with his mother she became his greatest supporter. She constantly asked Nzitonda about school and encouraged him to study harder. She wanted him to get a degree so he could help assist his family financially. Nzitonda’s family remains in Kenya. However, they live in a refugee camp with little access to food, water or job opportunities.

Passing the GED test was a major accomplishment for Nzitonda. “Earning my credential is so important to me because that serves as a foundation to show the world my strength and ambition to become who I want to be.”

Now that Nzitonda has his credential he wants to go to college and enter a dental program. As a dentist, Nzitonda can achieve his dream helping others while supporting his family.