Lakeland University

Reason to give to the Zawadi Education Program: Dorah Owango

Dorah Owango is a reason to give on #GivingTuesdayFreshman Dorah Owango arrived at Lakeland College with plans to major in international business. But it didn't take long for her to change direction.

"I'd like to study biochemistry," she says. "I'd like to do scientific research in the medical field. My ultimate goal is to help my country, my people, the best way I can."

Dorah, 18, arrived in Wisconsin from Nairobi, Kenya, in August, and about a month later, "the reality of leaving home really hit me," she says. "I won't see my family for a long time. That's tough."

Dorah enjoyed her childhood. Living in a modest stone house surrounded by wide-open spaces, Dorah climbed trees or just ran around with her four siblings. She fell asleep at night to the sounds of distant hyenas.

"It was a nice place, surrounded by mountains, forests and rivers," she says of her home. "I didn't watch TV and we didn't have video games."

Tragedy struck when Dorah was 9 and her mother passed away. Dorah moved in with an aunt and continued to work toward her goal of higher education.

"Difficult things only make you stronger," she says now.

Midway through her freshman year at Lakeland, Dorah said she's working hard in school – and validates the Zawadi Africa Education Fund that made it possible for her to be here.

"I'm really grateful," she says. "I have to succeed, and I know nobody will do the work for me. I'm so happy to have this chance, and I feel great responsibility. If I don't do well, they won't give others this chance. So I will work hard."

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