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  • Kum Kenneth Karana in Russia

I couldn't settle for any less!


I was born in Benakuma a suburb of Bamenda-Cameroon to parents who only did some little trading to provide for us four. With the consciousness of the abject poverty of my community, I knew that if I will make it a success in life and help others achieve their dreams as well, I would have to be adventurous and make use of every opportunity that comes my way. With this in mind, I set out on academic pursuit and emerged the best student in my secondary school, winning an award from the Menchum Youth Excellence Award Delegation. I then headed to the Regional town Bamenda where I emerged as the best student of that year winning cash award prizes from the school administration and Orange Cameroon.

After high school, I was fortunate to become an Open Dreams mentee in 2014 through Mr. Akaba James (my high school Physics teacher). I was lucky to be mentored by Cristina, Hans and Blaise who put in their all to see my dreams mature to reality!

As the mentorship process went along I successful applied to three universities in North America got admission in one of the schools (McGill) but was unable to get a full scholarship grant. During this is process I also applied for scholarship offered by the Cameroon Government to study in China which I was not also selected and I thought I would never achieve any dream of studying abroad. But then as it’s often said that the race is not for the swift nor the battle for the strong but time and chance happens to all, I still applied for yet another government scholarship to study in Russia by March 2015.

While on summer holidays back at home I remembered that in the Open Dreams mentorship program a lot of emphasis were always laid on leadership in society and community involvement. Thus I went on to organize a three day seminar for Students in my village on “How to Succeed in Academics”. This event registered an attendance of 135 students on the first day.

Surprisingly enough, two days after the event I was informed that I have been awarded a full scholarship to study software engineering in Russia. So two weeks after I was already in my first lessons in MIET, the Russian language Center. Since then it has been an awesome experience and even though I arrived school one and a half month late, I took the second position in the first semester exams.

I believe that with this opportunity to get good education abroad, I would be able to someday give back to my society and help others achieved their ultimate dreams in life.


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