Students participating in the "Celebrate Africa" event generously shared personal items and stories with the college community.
Southeast Technical’s Red Wing campus was proud to host a “Celebrate Africa” event this spring. African and African American members of the college’s student body shared personal items representing their cultural heritage such as photos, jewelry, clothing, figurines and tapestries, and reflected on their journey to Southeast Technical. An ongoing slide presentation of South Africa was also on display. An integral part of Southeast Technical’s diverse student body, the college’s African students span seven countries, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
Participating students very graciously shared their personal stories on a “Voices of Africa” board. Excerpts are provided below.
“I was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. I am of the Twi tribe and can speak Twi, some French and English. I had a great life in Ghana. I hope to be a good nurse and work with people around the world who need medical attention.”
“I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. My mother was the daughter of a Kissi chief. I can speak Swahili, two native languages, English and some Russian. While I worked with the Red Cross in Kenya, a doctor there encouraged me to go to the United States. I have a business degree and am now a nursing student here at Southeast Technical.”
“I am from the beautiful country of Rwanda. My maternal grandfather was king of Rwanda for many years. I have been in the United States for 17 years and work in a St. Paul nursing home. I am taking general classes towards by R.N. degree at Southeast Technical.”
“I grew up in Buea in the nation of Cameroon. In my country there are 250 different ethnic languages. I came to the United States with friends. I truly enjoy my nursing instructors here at the college and have a passion for what I am learning. I miss my home a lot.”
“I was born in Nyamira, Kenya. I am the fourth youngest of 14 children. Our family farmed about 100 acres where we grew corn and tea and milked about 40 dairy cows. There are many poor people in Kenya and this year there is an extremely high unemployment rate. I have two children back in Kenya, 12 and 13 years old. I miss them. I am in the P.N. program here at the college and will graduate in the fall.”
“I was born and raised in Kenya, where my family had a small farm. We used our two oxen to till and plant. I would start at 3:00 in the morning until I had to go to school. After school, we worked late into the evening. I am in the P.N. program here at the college. Each day brings a new learning experience for me. One thing I am sure of, I will always keep my culture. It defines who I am and where I am heading.”
“I was born in Barton, Arkansas. I went to a grade school where there were 22 whites and three blacks in my class. The white teacher did not acknowledge the black students. I would cry, but my mom said to be strong. We excelled in spite of all odds. I enjoy being a student at Southeast Technical.”