Fidele Mugisha | July 08, 2020
I am Fidele and I live in a family of 11 people (8 siblings and my parents-- a big family haha). We lived in 3 countries (Rwanda, Burundi, and DRCongo) before coming to the United States in 2015 due to political issues in my home country (Democratic Republic of Congo). It sounds terrible to have an unstable life like that, but God always connected us with his people who welcomed us and made us feel home in those countries. One thing I recall even now is that I never saw the difference between my family and me with other people in those countries because of the new identity we received in Christ, which enables us to have the DNA of God and be called his children regardless of one's nationality. Upon our arrival in the United States, we were supposed to pay rent and different bills, so my parents, my younger sister, and I had to take on nonprofessional jobs because we could not speak English fluently. However, since I wanted to go back to school, in the spring of 2016, I enrolled in a two-year transfer program (Associate of Arts) at Durham Technical Community College. I spent a semester taking EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classes to improve my writing and reading skills and later on, I took college-level courses to get my associate degree. I was interested in studying business and have heard that UNC Chapel Hill had a really good business program but very competitive to get into. Therefore, I worked so hard to get really good grades in my classes while being involved in different extracurricular activities such as interpreting for nonnative speakers of English, beekeeping, cleaning an abandoned cemetery, etc. Prior to completing my associate of arts program, I applied to UNC Chapel Hill and was fortunate to be accepted and was awarded a full-ride scholarship.
I transferred to Carolina in the fall of 2018 and I did not know anyone--making my transition difficult. However, my experience changed drastically when I joined RUF as I met people who cared for one another, and welcomed and accepted me as I was. The same people became my closest friends until this day and I am eternally grateful for having met each one of them.