Meet Samah, an 18-year-old Kenyan student at ASU. She’s pursuing medical studies and wants to be a perfusionist, which is someone who manages the heart and lung machines during surgeries. “I’m naturally curious,” she stated proudly, “I love helping people.”
She believes in the importance of education in getting a job and making a career for oneself. When asked how coming to America from Kenya has affected her views on education, she expressed her gratitude to the government and the countless organizations that have helped her pay for her schooling and allowed her to pursue a medical career. “My parents are less stressed, and I don’t have to wear a uniform,” she chuckled. She reflected that her life has definitely improved significantly, and she couldn’t be more thankful.
The RISE program and the general mentorship that Samah has received has “helped [her] be more confident. [She] can give speeches now and [she has] improved in school, too.” Huda, also a refugee with similar experiences, agreed, commenting, “Talking in front of other people used to be so scary for her, but she’s like a different person now.” Through mentorship Samah has gained confidence in herself and her ability to create change. Samah has learned a lot about herself, such as her love for poetry and her belief in the equality of education. With the mentorship she has received, she expressed particular joy from volunteering opportunities such as Project CURE: “Knowing that [she] was able to help people around the world without even visiting there” made her feel accomplished and grateful.
We also asked her about the refugee crisis and whether people should get involved. Samah responded, “Some people think that refugees are here to ruin their lives, but they [we] just come to find a better place to live.” She believes we all have a responsibility to get involved and help those in need, just as organizations such as Hands for Henna do.