I am Heritier Muhire, 24, from Rwanda. I am passionate about education and technology. At the age of 12, I became an orphan after my mom passed away. It was a new journey with only my young brother. In difficult moments, regardless of the age, as the first born, I was left with the responsibilities of my parents to keep their legacy and dreams alive. Fortunately, we got the chance to proceed with our academics thanks to different donors,
who funded our education from secondary school to university.
I completed high school at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, a non-profit school that offers scholarships to Rwanda orphan students. From this school, I received all the help and care I needed to restore the rhythm of my life; I started to dream that I can also achieve my goals and unleash my potential.
In mid-2014, I was admitted to study at Kepler Kigali, which was unbelievable to me to be part of this innovative and competitive educational opportunity; it seemed like a dream to me. Different from other Rwanda-based university programs, the Kepler community felt like a family to me. From staff to counselors, course facilitators, and students, everyone was open to listening and easy to approach.
At Kepler, I earned an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies with a Specialization in Business. While working on projects, I developed a skill set that included technology skills, leadership, effective communication, being an ethical citizen, proactivity, ownership of my learning, learning how to learn, problem solving and project management. In addition to these skills, I also learned how to develop a professional career, building lifelong relationships through networking, and professional competencies required to be a good fit in the corporate world.
In August 2015, I was offered the opportunity to work with the team that launched the Kepler Kiziba program in Kiziba Refugee Camp. I was a Teaching assistant, helping the course facilitators to lead the class, coach, and co-create the curriculum for both English Communication and Entrepreneurship. When we started, it was challenging since most of the students came from a French background and none of them could speak much English. While also considering their living conditions, which were not favorable for studying, I was so amazed by the hunger the students had to improve their English and their academic performance.
In January 2016, I received another scholarship to complete my bachelor’s degree at African Leadership University (ALU), in Mauritius. As an IT enthusiast, this scholarship was a chance to fulfill my dream of developing skills related to my other passion, after education. I am now in my final year of Computer Science major and am expected to graduate in 2019.
After three years, I was so excited the moment I heard from SNHU GEM that there was an opportunity for me to intern with them to launch the program in Lebanon.
Today, I am grateful to be part of the GEM program, as it opens a door for me to interact with a diverse community in the Middle East. Every day, I enjoy the love and warmth that the students show me in class. From our selfies after class to interactive chats to their willingness to collaborate and teach me Arabic, I am always amazed by how beautiful they are. They have the energy to learn English and professional skills, to prepare for employment, and to complete their degree.