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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Tatenda graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Public Policy specializing in Health and Development Policy. He attended Gokomere C.P.S. and Gokomere High School for his primary and secondary education. He has fond memories of the character building experiences he had during his stint at Gokomere.
At the University of Chicago Tatenda was, among other things, involved with Model United Nations, National Model African Union and the African and Caribbean Students Association. He also served as a member of the University's Multicultural Students Advisory Council.
He spent the spring quarter of his junior year studying China's economic development and transition at the University of Chicago's Center in Beijing, China. He also spent the summer of 2012 in rural Uganda as a research assistant working on emergency care issues with the Global Emergency Care Collaborative. His work in Uganda was funded by a University sponsored African Studies Research Grant and culminated in his Bachelor's thesis titled "The neglected stepchild of global health: Emergency care in sub-Saharan Africa." Tatenda is currently working for the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute.
After matriculating to Duke University in the fall of 2009, Joshua decided to major in Biology though he added Chemistry and a certificate in Human Development later. His goal was to acquire useful knowledge and skills that are shape healthcare and biotechnology. He knew that his future was in research and clinical medicine and he never looked back.
Joshua began what would be the most exciting part of his Duke education before classes had officially started when he joined a research immersion pre-orientation program called pSearch. While working with bacteria to express proteins, he was fascinated by the science and technology behind the production of such complex molecules. After getting more research experience in a neuro-engineering lab at the Duke University Medical Center, he finally joined the lab of Dr. Haynes at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute where his work was focused on HIV vaccine development. His senior thesis, "Comparison of HIV Envelopes produced from Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK)-293 T cells and Chinese Hamster Ovarian Cells (CHO)," was a culmination of a successful three-year project to express Envelopes of transmitted/founder HIV-1 viruses in non-human cell lines. The envelopes will be used as vaccine candidates in clinical trials. He was awarded honors in Biology for the thesis and he co-authored a scientific paper (in press) from that work. In the summer of 2012, Joshua was awarded a grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to work in the lab of Dr. Walker at the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH and Harvard, in Boston and he will go back to finish his under the same grant in the summer of 2013. His project was focused on understanding the role of CD8+ T cells during chronic HIV infection.
At Duke University, Joshua was selected to be Karsh International Scholar in the fall of 2011. He co-founded and was the Vice President of Duke University's chapter of Face Aids. Using his work-study money, Joshua founded Arch Munaka High School Alumni Scholarship Program (AHASP) that awards funding to children at Arch Munaka Secondary School based on merit and financial need. In his capacity as the President of AHSAP, he sources funds and transfer funds to the scholars and he is very impressed by the progress of the scholars both intellectually and socially.
Joshua's interest in HIV/AIDS advocacy and research stems from his personal experience with the disease as a young boy living in rural Chivi. He lost close relatives to the disease and he is baffled by the stigma that HIV positive people suffer especially in Zimbabwe. He is a perennial optimist and he thinks that a potent vaccine and a cure are possible. He is also interested in education because he views it as a tool to save people from poverty. His education was interrupted by financial problems and he does not wish the same on anyone. Joshua will enter Harvard Medical School in the fall of 2013 and he hopes to stay focused on his goal to fight HIV and to encourage disfranchised rural boys and girls to stay in school.
Ngoni is an aspiring young researcher and engineer who graduated with a B.S. degree in Chemical & Biological Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, MA. Born and raised in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, Ngoni has always been an avid enthusiast of science and the human body. He attended Victoria Junior and High Schools before finishing his Advanced Level studies at Kyle College where he honed his interest in engineering.
While at Tufts, Ngoni expanded his passions further to include ambassadorial and research based activities. Throughout his four years at Tufts, Ngoni was involved in Undergraduate Admissions activities, led the school's African Student Organization and was featured in a number of university publications as a unique scientist seeking to make a difference in the world. He graduated from Tufts with highest honors for his interdepartmental thesis project that examined peptides from heart tissue for their effects on cell growth and differentiation.
As Ngoni continues in his quest to not only understand the human body, but also contribute to the world of biomedical research, he still models his life by the words of the late President Theodore Roosevelt:
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." – Ted Roosevelt
Yemurai Mangwendeza graduated from Yale College with distinction in both her majors: Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and African Studies. She received Yale's 2013 Steere Prize for a senior essay that best exemplifies advance in scholarship gained by focusing on women or gender roles and by employing feminist theory for her senior essay "Experience and Policy: Women's Micro-Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment in Zimbabwe." Yale College bestowed the 2013 James Andrew Haas Memorial Prize on Yemu for her excellent academic achievements and for the moral leadership she exhibits in everything that she does.
Yemu is based in Zimbabwe where she works closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in the development and implementation of policies that address the HIV pandemic. Previously, she worked in Southern Africa in the education, non-profit, and entrepreneurship sector.
Tinofara works as a Financial Analyst in the Global Product and Market Solutions group at Prudential Financial, one of the world's largest financial services institutions with services in 38 countries and territories. Prior to joining Prudential, Tinofara worked as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at UBS Investment Bank in New York. Before UBS, he was a Summer Analyst at the New York Stock Exchange. Tinofara began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked as an Associate in the firm's Assurance Practice.
Tinofara graduated with B.A. degrees in Mathematical Economics and Computer Science from Colgate University. During his time at Colgate, Tinofara served as President of the African Students Union, Vice-Captain of the Colgate Cricket Club, Ambassador at Colgate's Cultural Center, Bible study leader and tutored various Economics and Computer Science classes. Tinofara was actively involved with the Model African Union, through which he was selected to chair the Technical Committee on Economic Matters at the 2012 simulation of the conference in Washington D.C and received the Outstanding Chair Award. Tinofara's strong academic records and excellent leadership experiences and skills earned him the Alumnae Leadership Award which is given to one man and one woman each year. He was privileged to spend a semester studying abroad at the University of Manchester in the UK.
Tinofara grew up in Highfield, Harare and attended Highfield High School where he was the best student. He currently sponsors semi-annual camps at Highfield High School. Tinofara is also passionate about Education and Economic Development; the two sectors that he intends to get involved in when he goes home in the near future. "I want to promote the talent that is in Africa just as I was given the opportunity to realize my dreams by USAP and the full scholarship from Colgate University."
Having graduated from St Dominic's High School in Zimbabwe, Blessing is currently in her junior year at Pomona College, majoring in PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics). She was very fortunate to find a major that suits her various skills and passions. Studying in the United States has renewed her mind and changed her approach towards life significantly. Having an outsider look, Blessing is committed to working hard to improve Africa's future. She greatly believes that to whom much is given, much is expected, and she intends to give everything she can, for Africa.
At Pomona, Blessing is involved in Debating, Mock Trial, and Inter-Varsity Christian Union where she leads worship. She has held significant leadership posts, including being a sponsor for first years during her sophomore year. Blessing also got an opportunity to study abroad while abroad, spending a semester at the University of Edinburgh. Pomona College has opened many doors for Blessing, and for her last years there, there is much more she hopes to accomplish. Still holding onto her values and love for God, Blessing is surely destined for greatness.
Born in a small village in Buhera and bred in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah A, Zvikomborero attended Harare High School (Danho) in Mbare. It is at Danho where he was groomed to be both a sportsperson and a scholar. Driven by an inner determination to succeed in life ands the famous words said by Einstein that "Great people did not excel in things that were extra-ordinary, but does the ordinary things in a great way". Though emerging from a humble beginning this young has got an unimaginable vision for his life.
At school he was the chairman of the Electronics Club which happened to be his brain child. His love for physics did little to limit him from other activities as shown by the role he played in Danho's soccer team. The young man has an insatiable appetite for mathematics and has hopes to take further his mathematical abilities though this dynamic world has forced him to consider economics and computer science as other options to take. This is only the beginning of a Buhera boy who believes that, "Every one of us is unique in his own way".
Lesley Nyirenda grew up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, before enrolling at Stanford University, CA, in 2009. There, he studied civil engineering, with a focus in structural engineering. Lesley put some of his skills and knowledge to work by interning with the Contra Costa Water District in 2012, where he learned a lot about the water industry. He also pursued his other academic interest – energy – by taking classes and interning with General Biofuels, an alternative energy start-up based in the Bay Area of CA.
During his time at Stanford, Lesley was involved with various organizations such as the Stanford Africa Business Forum, the American Society of Civil Engineers Stanford Chapter, the California Energy Services Corps, and various campus Christian fellowships. In his spare time, Lesley enjoyed officiating in soccer matches for Stanford Intramurals and making a cappella music.
In May of 2013, Lesley was awarded the Crossfield, Black, Coley Award for Exceptional Academic Achievement by the Dean of Students. Lesley is graduating in June of 2013 with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. He is excited by the many challenges that await him.
Lennox went to St Faith's High school in Rusape for both his Ordinary and Advanced Levels. In May 2013 he graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and a minor in Economics. During his four years at Hamilton he loved DJing on his international radio show, and judicial matters as the students' representative on the Appeals Board. He was a member of various volunteer organizations and a site coordinator for one of the outreach programs (HAVOC) and there he enjoyed doing cancer-related fundraising among others things. In the future, Lennox hopes to pursue biomedical/chemistry research especially in cancer, a disease whose trajectory is not only quite grim but may also no longer be classified as a disease of affluence as it begins to rear its ugly head in the developing world. His thesis work involved investigating structure-function relationships of an anticancer peptide on tumor models.
Corra Magiya graduated from Providence College with BA in Global Studies with concentration of International Politics. During her junior year at Providence College, Corra studied abroad in India and England where apart from learning from the different cultures surrounding her, she also managed to pursue a concentration in international politics. Corra stayed in India for four months with the School for International Training based in Jaipur and another month alone in Mumbai undertaking research on the growth/rise of the Levi's industry in India. In England, Corra was based at Lancaster University in Lancaster, Lancashire. Corra has been awarded a number of prestigious awards and scholarships such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship, Study Abroad Fund Scholarship and Dean's List. Corra will be pursuing a Masters of Public Administration in the fall of 2014.
For high school, Corra attended St. Dominic's Chishawasha for Ordinary Levels. She was the Head Girl at Regina Mundi during her Advanced Levels.
Stephen did his Ordinary Levels and Advanced Levels studies at Kutama College where he was the Headboy and president of the Student's Union for the Class of 2008. Stephen majored in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Further Mathematics. Stephen has an amazing passion for Mathematics and represented Zimbabwe twice for African Mathematics. He was also awarded the Silver Medal in the Old Mutual run Zimbabwe Mathematics Olympiad for the year of 2007. Stephen was highly active in a number of activities being hailed as the Interim CEO for the Commercial Company of Kutama.
Steve graduated from Swarthmore College in 2013 with a major in Computer Science and currently works as a software engineer in New York. He regularly contributes to the open source community. His main interests lie in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.
Rutendo Ruzvidzo graduated from The College of Wooster in Ohio with a BA in Economics and Mathematics. While at Wooster, she was passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship and International development. In her senior year she was part of a group of students who wrote an open source e-book on alternative financial institutions. Her thesis, influenced by the experience of her home country, modeled the impact of natural resources on developing economies using optimization methods.
Rutendo works in Washington DC in the International trade and
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