Originally by Nicholas Kristof (New York Times)
How often do you hear “rags to riches” stories of young men and women from poor areas of the United States making it to Ivey League institutions? Not often enough. How often do you here of a boy from a remote village in Africa making it to an Ivy League school? Never. Against all odds, South Sudanese native Paul Lorem has done just that.
Paul Lorem grew up in a small village of cattle herders in South Sudan. The village did not have any schools or a health clinic. When Lorem was 5, he got tuberculosis. His parents took him to a refugee camp in northern Kenya with the hopes of him receiving proper medical care.
Lorem attended school at the refugee camp where the instructors took immediate interest in him. He earned the second highest mark on the nationwide exam in all of Kenya after teaching himself Swahili. This achievement earned him a scholarship to a top boarding school in Kenya and then off to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.
Now, Lorem is in his freshman year at Yale University. This is proving to be a new challenge because English is his 5th language. Yale Admissions Director Jeffrey Benzel states,
“On the one hand, these adjustments are greater for him than for many, but, on the other hand, he has already overcome far greater challenges than other students have just to get here.”
Lorem plans to return to Sudan upon graduation to help rebuild his country. Talk about inspirational.