International student reflects on time in U.S.

June 5, 2013

From wausaudailyherald.com: “SEED scholar reflects on time in U.S.” — It is with a great excitement I am sharing my interesting journey in the U.S.

My name is Jacky Meremable, and I am from Gros-morne, Haiti. I am studying Business Management at Northcentral Technical College.

When I graduated from high school, I was very concerned about continuing my education. Going to university in my country is not that easy, but somehow I got the chance to apply for a SEED (Scholarship for Education and Economic Development) scholarship, a program financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and led by Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

To get the scholarship was not easy. There were about 390 applicants for only 26 scholarships. I passed through four different steps before I got selected. Scholars come to U.S. for two years to study in college, and after graduation go back home to make difference in their communities.

This experience is the most interesting chapter in my life so far. I have had a lot of opportunities to participate in important events, to learn new things and to take leadership roles on campus.

When I got here, I did not speak English, and I struggled with that for a while. Now I can understand when someone is talking to me, and I can make myself understood.

I have visited a lot of places in the United States and have attended some leadership conferences, including Urbana 12 and the Clinton Global Initiative Conference, both in Saint Louis. It was an awesome opportunity to meet many young leaders who want to make a difference in the world.

To top it all, I got this wonderful opportunity to intern with Youth Apprenticeship. I love it so much because it has given me so much experience talking to employers in the Wausau area.

These experiences will be very helpful because when I get back to my country, I am going to help children to go to school through my Community Action Plan Act-For-the-Future. I will open a sewing machine class so they will learn how to sew so they can be self-sustainable to pay for their own tuition.

To finish, all these amazing experiences would never have happened without the wonderful people living in Wausau. I have to thank my host family, Mike and Deb Roberts; the staff in the international office at NTC, Chris Knight, Michelle Lindell, Ellen Anderson, Julie Murphy, Kathleen Vautour; and my English teachers, Kathy Stamos and Nancy Gallagher. I also have to thank all the people who inspired me: Georgina Tegart, Donna Schulz, Dave Hartman.

On behalf of my classmates, I have to thank all the host families and friends who have supported us a lot, and all the organizations that gave us community service opportunities. Without those people, our stay in the States would never be that great.

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