“I came to Minnesota from Kenya in 2011 by myself (my family is all still in Kenya), and I graduated from college in Minnesota after a lady who believed in me helped me choose a career. We found out together that social work was something I was interested in and that I might be good at, and I’m so grateful for the choice I made. I came to America as an eighth-grade dropout. After arriving in Minnesota, I earned an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree. I’m so happy that I continued my education in America, and I’m now hoping to work toward a doctorate degree.
“Some people think immigrants and refugees get everything handed to us, but I’ve worked hard to create the life I now have in Minnesota. I worked two jobs and went to school at the same time. I’ve worked so hard for everything I have, and a lot of immigrants and refugees do the same.
“The best advice I can give to others is to believe in yourself. Most of the time, we doubt ourselves. But if you believe that you are capable of doing anything, you are. I did not believe in myself when I first arrived in Minnesota, but someone else did and made the effort to show me that I can do whatever I want if I work hard. When you believe in yourself, you’ll take the steps you need to succeed. That’s my best advice."