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My life has been a unique experience

My name is Alain Niyungeko.

So far, my life has been a unique experience that I will cherish forever. The experiences I went through have greatly shaped me into the person that I am today. I was born in a small refugee camp in Muyovozi in Tanzania, but my roots are of Burundi. My parents are Burundians who fled the country when a genocide broke out in 1994 killing millions of people.

Growing up as a refugee in Muyovozi was difficult. There were no opportunities for refugees and if any, they were limited. In addition to living conditions such as bad shelters, there was no guarantee to find food each day. It was especially hard for my parents who faced these challenges on a daily basis. My parents, the biggest blessings which I hold dear to my heart, have played very significant roles in my life. T

Keeping your parents involved in your growth is important.

From a young age, I recollect my mother and father being my friends whom I could talk to and pour out my innermost thoughts. Growing up, they were not only my friends, my parents became mentors helping me to navigate through life’s obscurities. One of many attributes that my parents convey is their inability to succumb to life’s many hurdles.

Being unrelenting individuals, they spent most of their days and nights with no rest, trying to find opportunities which would allow them to provide a better life for my siblings and I. They worked tirelessly to make sure we had the life they wished for us. From a young age, I was inspired by their endless hard work and perseverance

Our first opportunity for a better life was given to us when we became one the few refugee families chosen to relocate to the United States. My life has been a unique experience that I will cherish forever. Moving to the United States was a life-changing experience for me for two reasons.

The United States was unlike any place I’d ever seen in my life.

It was as if I was in an unending dream. For the first time ever, I witnessed people from different walks of life living in harmony. Coming from a background where one’s life could be taken simply because he/she were of a different ethnic group, it was spectacular seeing diversity in the United States. Second, we found the one thing that my parents worked so hard to provide for us and that is an opportunity. I truly believe that opportunities can help people in general and myself in particular, achieve success.

My life has been a unique experience that I will cherish forever.

In Tanzania, there were many talented individuals, but their talents were almost useless because there was no way they could be exploited.  In the United States, I can become who I want to be. Consciousness is the key and anyone can easily become who he/ she wants to be. As many people often say, the United States is a nation filled with opportunity.

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