BENEFITING: UMOJA STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
EVENT DATE: Jul 15, 2014
Help a young man go to the White House, who against all odds, is headed to college this fall!
Sullivan High School Class of 2014 graduate, Tenzin, was chosen to go to the White House to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of a "Beating the Odds" College Access Dialogue! He will be heading to Washington, D.C. with an Umoja Chaperone, Aubrie Tossmann, July 8th. We need your help to make it possible by paying for their transportation and accommodation expenses! The total cost for the trip is $3,345.
Tenzin truly is an example of "beating the odds!" He came to the United States just four short years ago as a Tibetan refugee living in Nepal. He moved into a small studio apartment with his whole family and enrolled at his neighborhood high school, Roger C. Sullivan High School, where students speak over 30 first languages. For most students, the transition to a new school is difficult, but when you add on Tenzin’s inability to speak or understand English, adjustment to classes with students from all kinds of backgrounds and uncertainty about how to get the right supports, odds were stacked against Tenzin from the start.
But Tenzin put in a lot of hard work and found a support system at Sullivan High School, through Umoja Student Development Corporation and in his community that helped him look towards the future. He made a habit of reading anything from street signs to labels on ketchup bottles to improve his English skills. Every day after school, he would go to his school library to do homework, and after that would read simple books designed for elementary school students. He didn't want his poor English skills to hold him back from doing just as well in school as his American classmates.
Three and a half short years after his move to the States, Tenzin has come a long way from being an ESL student who spoke almost no English to a National Honors Society student who ended his last semester of high school with a 5.0 GPA. He was also one of just 2 students citywide to receive a competitive corporate scholarship from Protiviti for $20,000 over 4 years to support his future education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota studying Economics.
When Umoja was given the opportunity to nominate a student to tell their story to the First Lady and share some thoughts on college access, Tenzin immediately came to mind and he was chosen among students nationwide! Please help us make this possible by covering the costs to attend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.