Now in its 8th year, the Grace Scholarship Program is the result of a partnership between PVF and a donor to provide the critical gap funding necessary for bright, low-income Zimbabwean students who are a part of the US Achievers Program (USAP) to study at US and European universities.
This year, we interviewed a few of the Grace Scholars to learn more about their background, experiences in college, and plans for the future. Below is our fourth interview with Nicole Nomalanga Moyo, a senior studying Management and Economics at Georgia College and State University.
NNM: In my senior year of high school I was selected to be part of the United States Student Achievers Program (USAP). USAP participants are selected for embodying all of the following four qualities; academic excellence, demonstrated leadership potential, ethos of giving to community, and economic disadvantage. The program helped me apply for scholarships to study in the US and thus helped me realize my dream of studying outside Zimbabwe.
PVF: Was it difficult transitioning to a different culture?
NNM: The transition to the US culture was not as difficult as I had imagined. To begin with, prior to my departure from Zimbabwe, the US Embassy education office had a pre-departure orientation where we introduced to the American culture and were given some advice on how to ease the transition. The staff at the International Education office at Georgia College was also very supportive and helpful and this made the transition easier. One great thing about going to school in a small town in Georgia is the famous Southern hospitality, I was surrounded by genuinely warm and helpful people. Of course, I had the occasional bouts of homesickness especially during holidays but the realization that the whole experience would positively transform me both personally and professionally kept me going.
PVF: What types of activities are you involved in at school?
NNM: I am involved with the International Club, and I have served as a club officer for two years, as a Treasurer the first year and as the President the second year. I am involved with the Model Arab League and the Model African Union. I was recently elected the Parliamentarian of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board. I am a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership circle and am currently participating in the Georgia Education Mentorship program. I am involved with the Global Ambassadors Program.
NNM: My greatest accomplishment at the moment was the opportunity to participate in a summer internship at CompliancePoint in Duluth Georgia as a Consulting Intern.
PVF: What do you plan to do post-graduation?
NNM: I intend to pursue a career in management consulting then later on proceed to graduate school to pursue an MBA.
PVF: How has the Grace Scholarship helped you pursue your goals?
NNM: The Grace Scholarship has helped me finance my education in the United States, something I would never had afforded given the economic situation in my home country. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and am looking forward to the day I will pass on the kindness to some other bright young lady from a developing country.