College tuition: Only 1 semester left

One semester shy of completing my Computer Science and Math degree and I have no way of covering the cost.

Here’s a little bit about me first; my name is Gaju and I’m an international student from Rwanda. My parents always stressed the importance of a good education and have worked tremendously hard to help me and my brother get the best education they could provide. I was granted a partial scholarship to attend Saint Mary’s College in Indiana and although my family understood that it would be difficult to pay for the remaining amount, they were willing to take the risk.

For a little over 3 years, I have been taking a 40 minutes commute bus to get to school and work tirelessly to earn my degree in Applied Math and Computer Science. Being an international student, I am not allowed to work off-campus and have been taking 2-3 on-campus jobs to cover my personal expenses. I managed to keep myself afloat until in December 2017, a member of my family was diagnosed with cancer and now all the funds that were dedicated to my education were being directed towards her health care. The news was devastating to me but I managed to pull through and finish my junior year with a 3.3 GPA. However, with absolutely nothing left for me to go back to school, I had to take a semester off my senior year (Fall 2018). 

Thankfully, we are now in April 2019, the cancer is in remission and the school has allowed me to come back to school and register for classes. To my surprise, I am still on track to graduating in May, all thanks to my hard work and overloading credits in my previous semesters. During my college carrier, I have won the 2nd place in a computer science hackathon, have become a Grace Hopper Scholar, have received recognition and awards within the math department and have been president of the International Student Club at my school. I have gained a passion for what I do, I have a competitive spirit and I have grit. I still have a 3.3 GPA and have a wonderful internship line-up. My college career, no matter how difficult, has molded me into a strong-willed person. 

Nonetheless, I still have one more hurdle to jump and I cannot make it on my own; as an international student, I cannot take student loans unless I am co-signed by a U.S citizen. I have fewer resources available to me to finish my last semester and my family is still in no position to help fund my last semester. I still owe the school a lot of money and if I can’t pay it on time, I cannot get my degree which could potentially lead to me losing my internship or reduce my chances of getting a full-time offer. I’ve worked so hard and I am so close to the finish line but I can’t make it without your help. If you can contribute anything at all to help me, it would mean the world to me.

Thank you all. 

38254872_1554399453410670_r.jpegAfter being  inducted in Pi Mu Epsilon at Saint Mary’s College : a mathematics national honor society that recognizes students for their academic excellence and passion in mathematics.

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Organizer 


Gaju Gatera 
Organizer
South Bend, IN
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