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 their career paths and futures.
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Munashe Kaseke graduated from Drake University in 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD). She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in healthcare management. Munashe is the founder and president of Impact Pharmacy, a pharmacy innovation company dedicated to the advancement of the profession in Zimbabwe.
Impact Pharmacy provides a platform for medical research done by Zimbabweans both at the University of Zimbabwe and abroad to be published. It also showcases pharmacy professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession in Zimbabwe. Pharmaceutical organizations can advertise upcoming events, jobs etc on the site. In addition, the organization provides a full scholarship to a bright student in need at the UZ annually.
Impact Pharmacy hopes to aid in the expansion of services offered by pharmacists in Zimbabwe such as vaccination and blood glucose testing for diabetic patients. Munashe hopes to see vaccination and other hands on classes included in the UZ pharmacy curriculum. The is to compare the clinical outcomes for certain patient populations right now and then after the majority of pharmacists in Zimbabwe are trained to offer such services and Zimbabweans don't have to go to the hospital or clinic to get a blood sugar reading or an immunization. There are almost 3 times as many pharmacies than hospitals and clinics in Zimbabwe so should pharmacists be included in treatment protocols, more Zimbabweans could be reached, particularly rural populations.
Her organization is now a registered company with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). Munashe hopes to open a pharmacy in Harare which will hopefully serve at the pioneer site for most of the services she hopes to see implemented. She also wants the pharmacy to make drugs that are not readily accessible in Zimbabwe available. In the long run, Munashe also hopes to link the pharmacy in Harare with her current website with the goal that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who want to pay for their relatives' prescriptions can do so through the website and the patient simply needs to pick up the paid prescriptions in Harare at the pharmacy.
Sibo grew up in Warren Park, a high-density suburb in Harare, Zimbabwe. She attended high school at Moleli High School. After high school, she obtained a full scholarship to study Chemistry at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Sibo is grateful for the four years of a liberal arts education provided at Reed as it provided her with the opportunity to explore her career options a little bit further. During her senior year, she received the Reed College Undergraduate Research Grant for her senior thesis in Inorganic Chemistry. She presented her thesis at the American Chemical Society (ACS) conference in March 2012, San Diego, California.
After graduating from Reed in 2012, she decided to pursue a career in nursing. She highlights many hours of volunteering, mentoring and research and one very good personal experience with a nurse as inspiring this career path. She is currently attending the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is a member of the UIC Honors College and Tau Sigma Honors Society. In April 2013, Sibo was one of only five international students at UIC to receive the Laurette Kirstein scholarship, which is granted annually to international students who display academic excellence.
Sibo is a hard working, strong, open minded young woman who envisions herself as a future leader. Her dream and passion is to be a nurse practitioner and clinical researcher. She hopes to someday start a non-profit clinic to aid underrepresented populations and the uninsured. She also envisions herself as an active member of a national nursing association, being actively involved in advocating for the advancement of the nursing profession.
Jefta is in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences where he majors in Electrical Engineering and minors in Mathematics. He is the first child in a family of three boys. Jefta grew up in Kadoma and later moved to Gweru where he did his high school at Thornhill High.
Jefta actively participates in the university's social organizations. He serves as the Chair of Academic Excellence in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Penn Chapter. He is also a member of the Penn African Students Association (PASA) where he served as a freshman committee member. Intramural hockey and soccer are also a part of his interests.
He says that his best interest probably lies in chess. In high school, he captained the Thornhill chess team to its first undefeated streak. He was also in the elite three at the prestigious National Scholars Chess Tournament and was subsequently nicknamed "Grandmaster". Jefta aspires to be a great engineer and is determined to give back to the community that has given him so much. Though a man of big dreams, Jefta is quick to point out, "Life is like chess, without a plan you lose".
Mazvitashe Mellissa Mangisi is known to most of her colleagues as "Mazvi". She comes from the small town of Kadoma in Zimbabwe from the densely populated neighborhood called Rimuka. Her name "Mazvitashe" is the Shona phrase for "Thank you Lord" and it's no surprise she also owes her gratitude to God, family and friends for their support that has seen her through challenges. She is the youngest in a family of 4 children and has 3 older brothers. She attended Thornhill High School, a boarding and public school in Gweru, Zimbabwe. In high school she was involved in dance, drama, poetry, athletics and drum majorettes. Due to her outstanding leadership capabilities, in high school senior year she was selected by teachers and staff to be the Deputy Head Girl and the Head of the boarding house for girls. In high school, she also received District and Provincial recognition for being one of the students with the Best results for the Ordinary Level national exams. Through the help of USAP Zimbabwe, she was admitted to the competitive liberal arts college, Connecticut College. [Learn more about Mazvitashe]
Jonah graduated from Zvishavane and Guinea Fowl High School in 2005 and 2007 respectively. He was awarded a Joshua Nkomo Scholarship, sponsored by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, to finish his Advanced Level studies.
In 2012, Jonah graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University. While at Tufts, he was actively involved in Boston Cares: Campus Initiative as a volunteer; American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME-Tufts) as a member; National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE-Tufts) as a senator; Tufts Robotics Club as vice president; Automated Systems and Robotics Laboratory (ASAR) as a research assistant; Office of Residential Life and Learning as a resident assistant; and Academic Resource Center as a science and engineering tutor.
Currently, Jonah is a Mechanical Design Engineer at Solectria Renewables, LLC.
Philani Brian Mpofu hails from Magwegwe, a humble suburb on the western side of the city of kings (Bulawayo). He did his Ordinary level at Marist Brothers Secondary School, and his Advanced Levels at Kutama College. He is currently waiting to take Vassar College by storm this fall. He plans to major in Biochemistry and Mathematics, and hopes to influence the Zimbabwean pharmaceutical industry in the future.
Philani believes in Zimbabwe and will do what it takes to uplift his beloved country. He has already begun this noble mandate by working as a temporary teacher; he is of a strong conviction that education can emancipate Zimbabwe. Philani relishes spending time with his family, he says that his family gives him the reason to wake up each morning and be a better person. Philani is truly grateful to the USAP for giving him all the inspiration and support; he is now ready to explore new horizons and be the shining light for all to see.
With much potential and talent but somehow no platform to maximize on it, is how Precious describes her life before USAP. She was born in Chitungwiza and spent the most part of her life there and this in itself is her motive to work hard because she has always wanted to travel the greater part of the world. She went to Seke 1 High School for her Advanced Levels and Seke 6 High School for her Ordinary Levels. She is the last born in a family of four.
Her goal is to contribute significantly to the business world which is probably why Precious hopes to major in Business Administration. She dreams to establish her own internationally recognized business organizations and fulfill her life objective, as she calls it. She hopes to learn all the secrets to success in business which is probably why she found herself at Ithaca College. With a versatile mind she found no other way to diversify her learning experience but to minor in Humanities and Sciences. Now that she has the platform she lacked before, she says she going to make the best use of it. Dedicated, determined and adept are three words to describe Precious. Precious is interested in sport, especially basketball and tennis.
Life has taught her to count her joys and not her tears, to count her blessings and not her misfortunes and above all, to live life to the fullest. She believes there is no insurmountable mountain and no river too wide to cross. Her two brothers as well as her mom have been pillars of strength through the difficult times. Inspite of the so many challenges, they worked hard to ensure she got the basic Zimbabwean education: first at Marlborough Primary then at Howard High Schools.
At school, she excelled in almost anything that she put her mind to; on the sport field, on the social scene and most importantly in class. One of her greatest achievements so far is her acceptance into the US Achievers Program. Through the program, more opportunities have come her way. She is currently the seventh and only female beneficiary of the Mufuka Foundation Scholarship. Shalom intends to study Nursing, Spanish and Computer Science.
Chiedza was born and raised in Chitungwiza. Her experience as a Child Parliamentarian with the Zimbabwe’s Children Parliament during her last two years of high school has shaped her passion and interest in global policy, research and advocacy with a focus on social policy. Her work with the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in Zimbabwe before college nurtured her passion for education, children’s rights issues and the importance of investing in women to fight poverty. Through her work with numerous organizations, Chiedza has explored the intersection of health and girls’ education; teaching, mentoring and adult literacy; and the role of individuals and organizations in shaping local, national and global policy. During her college years at Mount Holyoke, Chiedza was involved in several leadership and activism programs including the National Student Advisory Council of the American Association of University Women (AAUW); the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN); and the Women in Public Service Project Colloquium where she shared the stage with feminist and activist Gloria Steinem. Chiedza currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. and works on supporting strategy and policy development in global education. She also serves as the Board Secretary for Tariro: Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans – a small nonprofit that provides education support for teenage girls orphaned by AIDS in Glen Norah and Epworth suburb in Zimbabwe.
Chiedza is a social worker by training. She holds a BA in Psychology cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a Masters of Social Work (MSW) with focus on global practice and policy from Boston College.
She is also a beer aficionado.
With a taste for art, science and fun, there are certainly few dull moments in Tawanda's life. Born and bred in Harare, the "ghetto boy" always had a vision of his own. He went to Visitation and Goromonzi High schools were he excelled in his studies and extra –curricular activities. Student government, sports and chess were some of his main concentrations during high school. With the help of USAP, he enrolled at Amherst College in Massachusetts
"I don't know where I will land, but I'm definitely flying."
Tawanda has always loved to travel. He dreams of one day visiting another planet after his studies in the natural sciences. Diabetes and HIV are also some issues he hopes to address during his education. In the future, he hopes to form his own organization, which helps people living with diabetes.
"Always be a leader, not a follower"
This is the powerful statement that drives Dominic Mhiripiri, a curious and inspiring USAP student from Chitungwiza, who is also proudly from Wedza. Dominic excelled at Zengeza 4 High School despite a complicated home background in his Adventist family and a powerful survival story during the 2005 Zimbabwean atrocity, Murambatsvina.
Dominic was a district champion in debate, quiz and public speaking – among other things shining on national television high school debates and winning a gold medal at the 2005 Chitungwiza High Schools Public Speaking Olympiad. He got an exclusive Advanced Level bursary to attend ILSA College in Harare from where he was chosen into USAP.
In USAP, Dominic has distinguished himself as an interesting character, a great thinker and active participant who together with another USAP student Ike Gapara are behind an innovative 'company', Dominic & Ike Inc. Dominic, who is a deacon at church, spent time in his gap year teaching English Language and Mathematics at Seke 5 High School in Chitungwiza and also worked at the Harare Festival of the Arts (HIFA). In the past two years, several of Dominic's academic and political writings have been published in Zimbabwean newspapers.
Dominic is a freshman at Brown University – where he is the sole recipient of the prestigious Advancing Africa Scholarship that was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos , Switzerland in early 2008 - and the first one chosen for the distinct honor in the innauguration year. "I have come to America with an open mind", he says to explain why he is undecided on his academic major. "But I have strong bias for natural sciences, engineering and the arts. And I know Brown will help me discover myself and chart my own academic and life course".
When Dominic is not singing accapella music, working with computers or writing poetry, he will definitely be busy supporting "the team for which soccer was made" – Manchester United.
Linda from Chitungwiza did her O-Levels at Monte Cassino Girls High and A-Levels at St. Ignatius College. She took part in most activities at school such as sports, choir and journalism because she believed that well rounded people will always emerge as prominent figures in all spheres of life. Linda was a proud member of the JAZ - Junior St. Ignatius Company and the Year Book Writers Club.
"When life throws you lemon,make lemonade"
Though a former Maths-Biology-Chemistry student, Linda plans to divert from the science field and major in Economics and International Relations. She found pleasure in being part of the USAP selection committee and interning at the Embassy a few weeks before she left for St. Lawrence University. She believes in the grace of God and in fighting for her own destiny. "We should build capacity so that God finds us ready to receive his blessings."
Ike, the first of two children, was born in Harare but grew up in the small Midlands town of Redcliff. He attended primary school in nearby Kwekwe before enrolling at Kutama College near Norton for both his Ordinary and Advanced Level studies. He worked at Spar Redcliff (Jan-Feb 2008) and Cargill Zimbabwe (Mar-June 2008) after completing his high school studies.
Ike has a passion for mathematics and represented Zimbabwe in mathematics competitions in South Africa in September 2006, and Nigeria in April 2007 where he earned Honorable mentions on both occasions. Ike claims the best time of his life came on the Nigerian trip when his passport was stolen, and together with the rest of the Zimbabwean contingent, had to stay in Ethiopia for an extra week and a half. He has also represented his province in provincial cricket tournaments. He was also very active in school as head of several clubs but loved being CEO of the Company of Kutama (a student investment arm for the school) the most.
At Penn, Ike was selected as a member of the Entrepreneurs' Program, and this is the first step to his dream of founding his own company by the time he graduates, impossible as it may seem. At the Wharton School, he hopes to major in Finance and Actuarial Science and then venture into the investments and banking businesses. The young man is ambitious and hopes to build schools of excellence, world-class hospitals and other infrastructure throughout Africa with the hope of giving opportunity to the amazing talent in Africa, just as he was given opportunity through USAP and a scholarship from Penn. Ike believes that: "Things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle", (Abraham Lincoln), and so looks forward to grabbing all the opportunities that will come his way at Penn, and afterwards. His sense of adventure makes him want to go to space, and do many daredevil acts in the near future, because life is too short, really.
Cliff to some, Dr. Cliff to others- Cliford Sakutukwa is a senior at Berea College, KY, where he hopes to graduate with B.A Mathematics & Economics and BSc. Business Administration (Accounting and Finance). Cliff recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam.
He currently serves as the Student Supervisor in the Mathematics & Computer Science Lab at Berea College, responsible for the performance and motivation of 23 teaching assistants. Cliff started in the Economics Department as a teaching assistant for Intermediate Micro & Macro Economics classes before joining the Mathematics Department as a teaching assistant for Calculus classes.
Since freshman, Cliff has been actively involved in college extracurricular activities. He served as the freshman class vice president and then became the class president of his sophomore class. During his sophomore year, he was a forward on his college soccer team. He joined the soccer team after a short stint with the college cross country team. Cliff believes in giving back to the community. Cliff, a fellow of his college's Entrepreneurship for the Public Good program, led a group of four students that recommended a recycling business project to the city council of Hindman, Kentucky. Cliff once co-presented at the Berea Chamber of Commerce, advising how the council could revamp its tourism sector. Cliff has also written numerous finance/economics pieces that feature regularly in his college newspaper. The VP of Labor & Student Life once wrote an email describing the articles as "… provocative in all the write ways." Cliff was recently crowned Berea College's 2011 Homecoming King, a feat achieved in the past by students who enriched the college's academic and social life.
Cliff was offered admission into Duke's one year Masters in Management Studies program. His immediate goal is to get into investment banking. And his long term goal is to seek strategic partnerships for Africa through project consultancy, project research & development, capital acquisition, and market research, among others. After a few years of work experience, Cliff hopes to get an MBA so as to hone his leadership skills. During summer 2011, Cliff was a fixed income and equities research intern at Hamlin, a New York city based asset management firm. He has also done several other summer internships.
Born and raised from a very humble background in Rusape, Zimbabwe, Cliff did his high school at Harare High School. Cliff takes pride in being big brother to all the Zimbabwean Students at Berea. Cliff says "… over the years, we have smiled, laughed, and cried together. I hope someone will continue this tradition once I graduate." Cliff is engaged to Pamela Rose Todd, a graduating Education & History major at Berea College.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it's the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
The fourth born in a family of five boys and a loving mother, Mark is characteristic of modesty and philosophy. He has always believed that life is analogous to a journey, a journey which can be traveled in a number of different ways. For years and years, Mark has done his best to fly the path of his destiny and to date; he continues to seek the leverage which will see him accomplishing his dreams. He pursued his entire secondary education at St John's High based in Harare, and it was there were it all began for Mark.
His life time ambition has been to pursue a career in medicine but he is also passionate about is teaching. What may have been one of the most memorable times in his life gave rise to this secondary aspiration. This was in the third term of the 2007 school year in Zimbabwe. He was still an Upper Six student at St John's High School where he had an array of leadership responsibilities and activities. There was a nationwide teacher's strike which resulted in a mass exodus of teaching staff from schools and St John's High was no exception. This left the Advanced Level Science department severely under staffed and that being the case; Mark voluntarily took up the responsibility of teaching his classmates in Upper Six and Lower Six Biology and Chemistry. He learnt a lot about himself during that "teacher-student" experience. The most pertinent lesson was that he had people at heart.
On his inception into USAP, Mark could have never imagined the future that lay ahead of him. It is through this program that he finds himself studying Biology at York University in Canada. He still has the ambition to treat and teach and so as he pursues his undergraduate studies, he will explore ways in which he can merge the two arts. One of the firm ideals of USAP is to giving back to your home community and this is what Mark intends to do. He wants to bring back home his ideas and play a role in the continued development of the health and educational systems so that these can be accessible to everyone and anyone.
Mark sees his quest as a journey of a thousand miles, he knows he has taken a lot of steps and leaps which have brought him this far, and he has no other intention but to get to the very end. After all: "To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Born and bred In Gweru, the City of Progress, Michelle is the eldest daughter in a family of three girls. A recipient of the national merit based Joshua Nkomo Scholarship for Ordinary level excellence; she did her Advanced levels at Regina Mundi High School where she studied Math, Physics and Chemistry. She was vice head girl 2006-7 and president of the debate and public speaking society. Her best times were with the LEO's (Leadership Experience Opportunity) club, where she served as Chief Director. She won Best Leo of the year for her dedication and willingness to serve unconditionally. The group was later awarded the best group in a region of four countries for its efforts in helping its community.
To her, the gates to unrealizable success opened when she became part of the USAP family. Without USAP, Harvard would have been a figment of her imagination. She is interested in HIV research and economics (particularly world trade, finance and investment) but is currently uncertain of her future concentration. Michelle enjoys soccer, hockey and tennis and will play intramural hockey once Boston gets a little warmer. Michelle loves reading literature on the history of architecture. She loves art and is one person who can spend hours in a museum. At Harvard she seeks to be a great ambassador of USAP, Zimbabwe and her family, using this opportunity to be molded into someone who can be part of the process of making Zimbabwe a better place.
Tatenda was born and raised in the small town of Gweru where she did her Ordinary and Advanced Levels at Regina Mundi High School. She passed both levels with flying colors. She was also very involved in community service and leadership initiatives. This young lady says she is always in a competition, not against anyone else but against herself-to always strive to be the best that she possibly can be. She gets her satisfaction not from being the best at anything but knowing that she has done the best that she could. Her source of strength has been and will always be her two families – her biological one and her USAP one.
Tatenda b elieves that armed with a good education and the support of those around her, the girl child can do wonders. Her dream is to help girls in Zimbabwe realize their full potential. She plans to embark on this by joining the women's forum at Yale and thus gaining more insight on the subject. She is a firm believer in the ideals of USAP and would one day want to help others get the chance that she has been afforded by USAP. She is currently taking Spanish and physics classes and plans to major in applied physics and engineering.
Constancia identifies as an Afrofeminist and sustainable health systems enthusiast. She graduated from Amherst College is 2012 where she attended as a Koenig Scholar and majored in Neuroscience. She worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Early Drug Development Center for two years before moving back to Africa. Constancia recently commenced graduate school at the University of Cape Town as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar. She is studying for her Msc. Public Health (Health Systems and Policy). She envisions a career straddling the highest levels of international health relations, policy, and research, particularly focused on Gender & Health Systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
She hopes to be a vehicle for changes in a world where Health should be a realized a right and the voices of women are not minimalized or made inferior based on gender/sexuality.
Born in a remote area of Masvingo, Tatenda grew up in a warped society of Mbare Township, the dormitory township that provided labor to Harare during the apartheid pre-independence era. He did both his Ordinary and Advanced Levels at Harare High School in Mbare. He majored in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting at Advanced level and he passed with excellent grades. Having succumbed a number of difficult challenges in life, Tatenda has learnt to persevere and endure in every challenge that life presents. He was the captain of Harare High's basketball 'A' team as well as the deputy chairperson of the Electronics club. He graduated with his bachelor of science at Jacobs University in Germany where he was a Biochemical engineering major. Tatenda successfully completed his thesis in which he worked on Downstream Processing and Metabolic engineering.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein
Currently studying Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis as a graduate student, Tatenda aspires to make peoples' lives much easier through science, invention and innovation. He is interested in finding alternative environmentally friendly and sustainable energies, Proteomics, Bioremediation, Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, etcetera. Furthermore, he enjoys watching action movies, movies based on true stories, hiking and playing soccer.
Wendy in interested in development and development consulting. She is currently pursuing a Masters in International Relations and International Economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is doing an African Studies concentration and an Emerging Markets Specialization. Wendy is also active in the Africa Club at SAIS. She has worked with development oriented organizations in the US and abroad and hopes to continue her career in development after SAIS.
Wendy graduated with a BA in Economic (with honors) from Williams College. During her time at Williams, Wendy served as the Co-Chair of the Williams African Students Organization and was part of a number of committees, including being a student representative on the Committee on Diversity and Community.
The fourth born in a family of five, Nancy was born in the Sunshine City of Harare. She grew up in the high density suburb of Glen View 3 and attended Glen View 7 Primary School where she was active in athletics, drama, and public speaking. She first displayed her academic excellence when she came up as the only student with four units at her primary school. Nancy attended a local secondary school, Glen View 1 High where again she was active in athletics, a senior prefect, as well as being a member of the Youth Aids Network and the Zimbabwe United Nations Association.
She came up as the best student at Ordinary Level in the whole Glen View - Mufakose District and was awarded the inagural Joshua Nkomo Scholarship which helped finance her Advanced Level education at Highfield High. Due to her exceptional academic and leadership qualities Nancy gained entrance into USAP which helped her get a place at the College of Wooster, Ohio. At Advanced Level she scooped the National Merit Award for Best Advanced Level Results for Harare Region. She owes her achievement in life to the Almighty and the most important thing in her life is her family. Her source of insipiration is her mother and elder sister, Nyarai. Nancy looks forward to study Business Economics which she hopes will help to promote youth development and women emancipation in her country and also to participate in women's football.
** Nancy Tinoza unfortunately passed away in a car accident in the US in March of 2015. Please visit her Memorial Pages for more inforation.
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