Six years ago violent circumstances forced me to leave the place I was born and raised in, the only country I had known.
When I first arrived in USA, my immediate wish was to have a place to be and raise quietly my two children Charles and Sophie, who had remained behind with their mom Charlotte in Rwanda. Since then I have met wonderful people on whose kindness and support I relied to survive "“the first winter was a shocking experience- in my new world. Eventually, with people's help and guidance, I was able to work through the immigration process, and after two years I reunited with my family. We live in Portland, where I work for Catholic Charities, while my wife
Before I left Rwanda, while I worked during the day to support my family, in the evening, I attended a local University, and had completed a four year cycle to obtain a bachelor degree in Law. However, I did not get to accomplish the long cherished dream to practice law in my country; I had to leave.
It doesn't take long for a flattened dream to raise and resurface. As they say, "what is bred in the bone will come out in the flesh "; I kept wondering how I could do what I always wanted. Despite the widely known slogan that USA is a land where with honest and hard work, a person can accomplish any dream, I doubted that I would ever step through the legal door, until last winter.
Many of my friends from church at Sacred Heart, at work, during family gathering had encouraged me to try and capitalize on my past college credentials. I saw this only as a remote possibility, since I did not even have my transcripts. Some times last winter I was introduced to a man who runs a program called LLM at USM School of Law. A much poised, multilingual, multicultural, highly educated person. He was willing to listen to my story, and after about an hour of interview, he handed me an application to complete and bring back with the transcripts of my past education.
A month ago I received a letter from him. My application was approved; but I would have to come up with the tuition. The LLM being a relatively new program at the University, there are no funds for scholarship. Very well, now what? The cost for the full program is estimated at $30,000, but as a resident, I would get a discount that would bring the cost to about $27,000. I do not have that kind of money, never have.
I hereby request your help to raise $27,000, in order to accomplish not only a goal I carried all the way from my country to the USA, but mostly to set the bar for my children who see in me a model they want to emulate and surpass.
God bless you
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