Since it's inception in 1999, USAP has helped tens of Zimbabwean students get accepted to top notch colleges in the United States. Some have since graduated and are working in various fields in the United States and elsewhere around the world and some have chosen to remain in academia at various instituations in the United States. There are over a hundred USAP students from Zimbabwe alone and each one of them has an amazing story to tell. Below are brief profiles of some of our students just to give you a glimpse of our diversity as a people as well as the diversity of our their career paths and futures.
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Son of a refugee, Bernard ran from the war in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and settled in Harare, Zimbabwe with his family in 2001. Bernard interned with the American Embassy Public Affairs Section- Educational Advising Center in Harare, Zimbabwe where he was selected to join the Unites States Student Achievers Program, USAP. Bernard secured a prestigious scholarship in 2005 to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton and obtained his BA in International Relations and Affairs and Political Science. He served as the student body president at Lynn University. In February 2007, Bernard was appointed the South-East Region Representative for Africa Action Student Network, and served in the steering committee. Bernard also served as the Regional Director for Americans for Informed Democracy 2007-2008, and interned at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Africa Program, where he gained valuable experience in African Affairs especially in his work on the Great Lakes Region.
Bernard has been an analyst with iJET’s Africa team, in Annapolis, MD since 2010 and team regional manager since August 2014. His primary countries of responsibility include some of the West African and Central African countries, most notably Cameroon, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, CAR, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Rwanda. His particular analytical interests include the future of the volatile Great Lakes Region and the effects of armed and ethnic conflict on security, stability, and business continuity in the region and Sub-Saharan Africa in general.
Before coming to iJET, Bernard worked as a staff intern at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Africa Program, in Washington, DC. He is a native of the DRC. After surviving the country’s 1996 and 1998 civil wars, he moved to several other African countries, including Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, where he learned about challenges facing the African continent; he has also traveled to South Africa, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Bernard is fluent in French, Swahili, Esperanto, and Lingala and Kifuliiru (two local languages from the DRC); he also speaks some Shona from Zimbabwe.
Bernard also holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Currently, Bernard is a PhD candidate at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, at George Mason; his dissertation focuses on the reasons rival ethnic groups fail to coexist in eastern DRC. Bernard, his wife, Queen Brigitte and Son Mael, reside in northern Virginia, and enjoy encountering new places, cultures, and people together.
Abigail is from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. She attended St. David Girls high school in Mutare. During her senior year in high school, Abigail was selected into USAP, which afforded her the opportunity to study in the US. She is a Biology major at Providence College, Rhode Island.
At Providence, Abigail serves as a member of the Student Advisory Council for Academic Affairs (SAC), Colleges Against Cancer and is a resident advisor. She also spent a semester volunteering at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in the Pediatrics Department.
Abigail is very passionate about research. During the summer of her freshman year, she conducted research at Yale University as a STARS program participant. She worked on a project that was aimed at producing whole-genome transcriptional profiles of rice cell types, isolated by laser-capture microdissection. She was selected to give an oral presentation of her project at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Anaheim, California. In her sophomore year, Abigail interned at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in the Immunology/Inflammation Department. She worked on a project to develop a new therapeutic target that reduces chronic inflammation in the CNS of Multiple Sclerosis patients. She is currently working on a project, which will have a direct application in the treatment of cancer. Abigail is also a founding member of the Providence College Chapter of the Sigma Xi scientific research Honor Society. She intends to pursue a career in Pharmaceutical research specializing in HIV/AIDS. Abigail aspires to be part of the group of scientists who will discover a cure for AIDS.
Kuzi currently works for Deloitte in New York City. He is a senior consultant who covers Financial Services and Healthcare companies and helps them solve their complex problems.
Before joining Deloitte, he was an analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland in the Debt Capital Markets focused on Energy, Power and Utility Clients including infrastructure project finance at the North America Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. He participated in transactions that reached a total of over $80 billion in debt financing for various energy corporations.
Kuzi graduated from the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with concentrations in Finance, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management. He remains actively involved in alumni events for his alma mater.
Kuzi loves being active, traveling, and relaxing with his wife and daughter.
Kudzai Ndondo was born in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. He qualified for a full scholarship to University of Chicago class of 2009 and graduated with Bachelors in Mathematics with Specialization in Economics. At Chicago, Kudzai was involved in a number of activities outside of school. He was the treasurer of the African and Caribbean Students Association, International Students Ambassador, Intramural Soccer player and he volunteered to tutor High School students in Chicago public schools.
Kudzai has always been a mathematics enthusiast. Back in High School, he was captain of the Zimbabwe Mathematics Olympiads team. He led the Zimbabwean team to the Pan-African Mathematics Olympiads Competition (PAMO) in Tunisia, 2004, where he won his second bronze medal.
Kudzai's long-term goal is to contribute to economic prosperity in his country and to help in building a stronger Zimbabwe Mathematics team. He is currently employed as a financial professional in New York.
Alida Uwera is currently pursuing graduate studies in International Relations and International Economics with a concentration in international development and economic policy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Prior to commencing her studies, Alida worked for two and a half years as the Assistant Director at Golden Baobab, a start-up, Ghana-based social enterprise working to inspire the creation of African authored, world class literature relevant to the lives and experiences of African children. Alida graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with an A.B in Economics and a minor in International Studies. Born in Rwanda, Alida fled the country with her family during the 1994 genocide and lived briefly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia before finding asylum in the beautiful country of Zimbabwe, where she grew up.
Compelled by childhood lessons that nothing is lost by pursuing even the most remote opportunity; Alida took a shot at the USAP program application – then, a program designed explicitly for Zimbabweans. USAP has played a very vital role in her life, enabling her to pursue a liberal arts education with a full scholarship from Bryn Mawr College. Alida has interned at Women's Campaign International, a non-governmental organization that advances opportunities for women to actively participate in public advocacy, market and political processes, and also at the American Red Cross, among others.
Alida is passionate about international development, international macroeconomics, politics and social policy; with a strong desire to engender positive development in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is multilingual, a current events junky and enjoys learning about different cultures and growing in her Christian faith.
Portia was born in Chitungwiza, and began her educational career at Kenzamba Primary School in Chinhoyi before she went to Budirirai primary school in Chitungwiza. She then did her Ordinary levels at Seke 1 High School. Hope for a brighter future came when she was awarded a scholarship to go to Gateway High school to do her Advanced Levels. Little did she know that it was the beginning of a journey that would take her to USAP and then to Wesleyan University where she is now a junior majoring in Chemistry and Economics. Before she went to Wesleyan, Portia was an intern at the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group.
She is passionate about medicine and social justice. She is involved in helping orphaned children at Budirirai primary school to pay school fees, as she believes that if it were not for people who helped her financially, her dreams would never have become a reality. At Wesleyan she is a leader in the Wesleyan UNICEF group, which advocates for children’s rights and is also an active member of the Wesleyan Christian Fellowship. She volunteered to rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans the summer of 2006 and she is a trained Volunteer for the Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut.
Portia is a resident advisor. In her freshman year she was a recipient of the CRC award given to the best student in Organic Chemistry. She was awarded the Howard Hughes fellowship for two summers for her work in investigating potential contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). She has been recently nominated to present her research titled, "pH-Dependent relaxivities of Mn (II) and Cu (II) complexes of pendant-arm polyamine macrocycles," at the 235 th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Portia plans to pursue a career in medicine and health policy and intends to practice in Africa.
Lehigh University '09, B.S. Integrated Business & Engineering in Electrical Engineering
Cornell University '10, MEng Engineering Management
UC Berkeley '16, Master in Information and Data Sciences
Happiness (from Marondera, Zimbabwe) works at Walmart eCommerce as a Mobile Analytics Manager, specializing in how users engage with the company's Android & iPhone consumer apps.
His ambitions are in the so called Big Data world and applying intelligence in business contexts. Prior to Walmart he has worked at PayPal Inc. and Zong Inc. as Product Analytics Manager and Operations Research Analyst respectively. Ultimately his goal is to apply data as a tool in operations addressing huge problems in the world such as energy access in the developing world.
Outside of work Happiness enjoys being informed on current issues, carving out a meaningful life, pursuing depth in interpersonal relationships and enjoying nature and God's creation. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
Africa University, Zimbabwe '09
Washington State University '16
Darlington believes that life is too short and the world is too small to make enemies. Smiling means and changes a lot and this is the reason why wherever he is, whatever he is doing Darlington always has a smile on his face and is never afraid to apologize whenever he disappoints someone. Talk about soccer, invite him to play soccer with you or to watch Chelsea or France play and, yes indeed the sky is blue and must be the limit, then you are close to sealing an everlasting friendship with Darlington. Positive attitude is the way to go for Darlington and one most important thing in his life is never to burn bridges along the way. With his positive attitude Darlington's passion is to always give off his best in all he does for the mere fact that he is doing it means it is worth doing. [Read more about Darlington Sabasi]
Amanda is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in biological sciences at New York University School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Robert Schneider. For her thesis project she is studying the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a highly aggressive type of breast cancer that has a higher incidence among women of African origin. It is her hope that gaining a molecular understanding of the disease will reveal new targeted therapies for the treatment of IBC patients. Amanda's work is funded by the Howard Hughes International Student Research Fellowship.
She received her M.Sc in Molecular Oncology and Immunology from NYU in 2011 and prior to that her B.Sc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany in 2009.
Amanda has a passion of helping people and making a change both within and outside the academic setting and would like to one day go back to Zimbabwe and use her knowledge where it's needed.
Lee Pedzisa was born and raised in a small sugar manufacturing town of Triangle in Zimbabwe. Due to hard work and unimaginable dedication in the midst of many challenges Lee is a proud first year Chemistry PhD candidate at the prestigious Scripps Research Institute, Florida (the world's largest independent non-profit biomedical research institute) where he is pursuing his PhD in Organic Chemistry. Despite the demands of graduate school, he participates in intramural soccer with neighboring Florida Atlantic University. He is a recipient of the William C. Champion Prize in Organic Chemistry, the Merck Index Book Award, the Alpha Lambda Delta Award, and the Crecelius Family Award in Chemistry from Colorado College, where he graduated magna cum laude with a distinction in Chemistry.
His goal is be a Pharmaceutical Chemist or Synthetic Organic Chemist. Chemistry may seem like a dry, academic subject; after all, Arthur C. Clarke said, "... chemistry is a trade for people without enough imagination to be physicists." However, Lee believes that chemistry extends far beyond its immediate academic significance. As the Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey said, "The organic chemist is more than a logician and strategist; he is an explorer strongly influenced to speculate, to imagine, and even to create." Lee is automatically drawn to human beings and their ever-changing, beautifully vulnerable lives - the intersection between chemistry and social action deeply interests him. Lee's dream is to own a Pharmaceutical Company in Zimbabwe and to provide affordable medicines to all Zimbabweans, thereby linking his intellectual interest in objective physical science with a deep-seated subjective motivation to help people.
Tatenda Mahlokozera is a student in the MD/PhD program at Washington University. He is currently in the PhD phase of training and is conducting his thesis research on brain cancer stem cells towards a PhD in Neuroscience. Tatenda is from Gweru and completed his ordinary and advanced level education at Fletcher High School. He subsequently completed his undergraduate education on full scholarship as an Oak Foundation scholar at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Tatenda graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors and distinctions in both Chemistry-Biochemistry and Physics. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was elected to the Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society. He subsequently spent two years as a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School conducting research on the mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS via breast-milk under the guidance of Dr. Sallie Permar, MD, PhD. He continued this line of research for an additional year at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, before entering the Washington University MSTP in 2012. Tatenda is currently interested in innovative research towards novel brain cancer therapies and in clinical neurology and neurosurgery.
Patience Moyo is from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. With the help of the USAP program she attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate studies. At Mount Holyoke she majored in chemistry. Her interest in pharmaceuticals and research led her to summer internships at Rutgers University and the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. She graduated magna cum laude in May 2009 and spent two years working as a Research Technician at the Massachusetts General Hospital. As of August 2011, she is enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Cliffton Murove was born and raised in Gweru, Zimbabwe. He attended Stanley Primary School in Gweru, then Saint Patrick's High School. Cliffton is very ambitious and decided to complete his Advanced Level education in one year instead of the normal two. In 2004, he was admitted into USAP, enabling him to further his studies at Drake University in Des Moines , Iowa .
At Drake University, Cliffton studies Economics, with a concentration in Business Law. He has developed a keen interest in the economics of developing countries. Cliffton is also involved in a number of extracurricular activities across campus. He is the President of Drake University Students in Free Enterprise, SIFE. He also serves on the Dean's College of Business Student Advisory Board. In 2006 and 2007, he was named Top freshman and sophomore student of the year, respectively. Cliffton also co-hosts ZNNPodcast, a weekly show on Zimbabwean politics.
Upon graduation, Cliffton would like to pursue a master's degree in economics before returning to Zimbabwe to help rebuild his country.
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