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 In News, Partners Magazine
Student leader Evans Kaame talks about his journey to Clark College from Kenya.

Student leader Evans Kaame talks about his journey to Clark College after living on the streets in Kenya.

“I was born and grew up in a small community in the northwestern part of Kenya in East Africa. I grew up with a family of a doting mom with about six siblings. By age of 6 or 7, I lost my dad; that was the beginning of a tragedy in my life. After my dad died, we have a horrifying moment of trying to survive. I watched my younger siblings crying as my mom left early in the morning and came home at 9 p.m. We didn’t know if we were going to eat at night or not. It really got my heart to see my siblings crying; I had to make a decision that impacted my life.

That was how Evans Kaame, president of the Associated Students of Clark College, began his address to the nearly 350 scholarship recipients, donors and family members at the 22nd annual Scholarship Reception in October. He went onto tell such a compelling story that guests rose to their feet as they applauded.

“I decided to leave and live on the streets in order for my mom to take care of my younger siblings. The street was a new life with so many barriers…but because tragedies happen in life, I had to do this. I had no other option. I fought cold nights in the street…being on drugs and breaking into people’s homes. I had to survive. I had no choice.”

In 2009, an opportunity changed the trajectory of Kaame’s life forever: a nonprofit group accepted him into a program for street children to get housing and enroll in school. Kaame excelled at school, graduating in 2016 at the top of his high school class.

“I studied so hard, because I believe in education. The transformation that education does for other people, the aspirations, the sacrifice and determination people go through; I yearned for that.”

After graduating, another opportunity transpired; a chance to study in the United States. Kaame was able to secure a visa and for the first time in his young life, set foot in another country— America.

“Today, I speaking to you because Clark College Foundation really made an impact in my life.”
Kaame is the recipient of three scholarships made possible from Clark College Foundation, the Shirley Caswell Rude, Clarence and June Irwin, and the Ralph B. Sackman Family Honors Program scholarships.

“You’re not just supporting us… you are supporting dreams, books, the future of this country, the future of this world! Thank you so much for your support.”

 


Story written by Rhonda Morin

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