My name is Michaella Ibambasi Marebe and this is my story.
For the past four years living here in the United States, I have grown immensely. I have had highs and lows. However, all my experiences have served to make me a more mature, driven, and hopeful woman. I am excited that I get to continue this journey academically and am looking forward to discover what God has in store for me. This fall, I will be transferring to a new school to finish my Bachelor’s degree. I am asking for help of any form: financial support, prayers, and advice.
I came here as a junior in high school on a full scholarship to Spring Street International School. After graduating high school, I attended Seattle Central College and just completed the two-year associate program. To afford college, I relied on the little support that my family could afford and largely on the fundraising I did among the families I met when I was in high school.
For the past school year, I have been living in the International Friendship House, a Christian house aimed at welcoming international students. Being surrounded by students (international and local) who are working hard in school and pursuing their relationship with Jesus and each other encouraged me to believe that I will succeed in my education regardless of my setbacks. I have been able to rebuild my trust and relationship with God after being so far away from him for a long time.
This fall, I got accepted to Antioch University, where I would be starting my major in Health, Counselling, and Psychology. I feel called to that major because I want to work in the mental health field in the future. I was born and raised in Rwanda during the recovery of the 1994 genocide that left many dead and destroyed the country. So much effort was focused on rebuilding the physical aspect of the country and its people. However, many individuals were left with PTSD and other mental health consequences that affect their quality of life. Being able to provide help to individuals and communities faced with a shortage of mental health care around the world compels me to understand psychology and the human brain. I want to pursue that career in the context of Global Health and reach as many people as I can.
As an international student, tuition is higher than average. My biggest challenge is always determining how to afford tuition. Antioch is going to cost $30,000 this next year. I am allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week, on campus only, making it impossible for me to afford tuition on my own. I am more than willing to work more hours but my student visa does not legally allow me to do so.
I have already been blessed with the opportunity to live in the Palmer House this coming year, a ministry dedicated to reach out to diverse college students in the Seattle area. While living in this house, I will be in community with students and participate in the leadership team of college ministries. So, being in Seattle is not only an academic opportunity but also a chance to demonstrate love by cultivating a diverse and inclusive community on college campuses and in the larger Seattle area.
Right now, it seems like only a miracle will make this possible, since I will need $30,000 for tuition. If this is really my calling, I trust that God will find a way. I am very grateful for the generosity from people who believe in me, and the family I have gained thus far. I would not have made it without you! I also recognize that the financial burden is heavy and I might have to pursue other options, in other universities and even other places. I really hope I do not have to put my education on hold because of financial reasons.
I can promise that the generosity I receive today will pay forward. My education will allow me to have a greater impact in my community today as a student leader, and as a mental health practitioner in the future.
Please help me get closer to my goal - Any form of help or amount is appreciated!
Spread the word!
Thank you and may you be blessed!
- Kirstie Noreen
- Polly Yorioka
- Mimi Anderson
Organizer and beneficiary
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