A high energy and delightful immigrant from Africa didn’t let her past define her future
Naomi immigrated to Colorado from war-torn Gabon Africa, where she was raised by her mother and experienced a difficult childhood. At the age of 16, she found herself living in a new country with her father and three sisters, where she didn’t know the language or understand the culture. Despite these setbacks, Naomi learned English, became a cheerleader at her high school, and was determined to receive a college education.
Naomi’s family struggled financially and she became aware of the scholarships offered by Hide In Plain Sight through her advisor at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). “I didn’t think my story was strong enough and I questioned my self worth,” said Naomi. “When I got the call that I received the scholarship, I was very excited! It made me think that I do matter and my story is important. With the scholarship, everything just fell into place and for people to believe in me and see something in me, to think that this person is a good candidate—that meant a lot!”
Neither of Naomi’s parents attended college, so she is the first in her family to receive her degree. Naomi proudly completed her two year science degree at CCA, and she received her CME (continuing medical education) license. Currently Naomi is studying nursing at The Denver College of Nursing where she will complete her bachelor’s degree with plans to eventually become a Physician’s Assistant. Additionally, Naomi works as a certified nurse’s assistant at Denver Health.
“When I look at my life, I believe you have to trust in God and trust in the process, because where you are now is not where you will be tomorrow,” said Naomi. “ When I attended the HIPS gala, people were coming up to me and congratulating me and supporting me and putting me in contact with people offering to help and it was just awesome! And meeting the other scholars——we were all unique in our own ways and learning other stories was a good thing. Some people are even in worse situations than you are and it makes you be more grateful and more thankful. I am grateful for where I am because the help at that moment in my life was a blessing!”