AGE: 25
EDUCATION: BA in Neuroscience | Dartmouth College

My name is Tshibambe Nathanael Tshimbombu, a Neuroscience major at Dartmouth College. I was born and spent 20 years of my life in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country located in central sub-Saharan Africa. Before coming to the U.S, I was accepted into Lovanium school of medicine, also known as University of Kinshasa. I worked so hard to earn admission in the first medical school in my country because my dream was to become one of the best physicians in Africa and contribute to providing high-quality treatment. All my dreams, however, had to be placed on hold when my grandfather ran for president. His campaign endangered the family’s safety and security. In a matter of months, I felt like a stranger in my country. Isolated and vulnerable, I was unable to move freely around. All the threats we received made my father apprehensive about the safety of his family, so he finally decided to ask my mother, who came to the U.S. after her relationship with my father deteriorated, to sponsor the immigration of everyone under 21 in my family. For this reason, I left my country, withdrew from medical school, and came to the land of opportunity: America.

When I arrived in U.S, I could barely say a word in English because I had never studied the language. After I had spent six months learning English, I was able to apply to a two-year College, Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), to receive an associate degree in Chemistry. From the time I enrolled in GPC until the day I graduated, I performed at a high level in terms of academics, and I was actively involved in students affairs. Also, I served as president of two honors societies, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Chi Pi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the oldest and the most prestigious honors society of GPC.

Aside from my involvement in honors societies, I also exhibited a strong dedication and commitment in several organizations inside and outside of GPC. In 2014, I joined the nonprofit health Organization called Students for A Healthy Africa where I now serve as a Chair. Besides SAHA, I am also member of several organizations such as the American Chemical Society; Louis Stoke Alliance for Minority Participants; Science, Technology, Engineering Programs; Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Achievement, and Biomedical Society. Besides that, I served the Atlanta community by volunteering for one year in the Neuroscience department of Grady Memorial Hospital. At the end of the volunteering service, I was featured in the Inside Grady Journal as the volunteer of the month, August 2014.

After graduating from GPC, I received multiple acceptances to schools such as Emory, Columbia, Chapel Hill and Dartmouth with scholarships totaling $150, 000. I chose Dartmouth because of the small size class and that’s where I am pursuing my Bachelor in Neuroscience.

With only two terms at Dartmouth, I created a Neuroscience Society called the Brain Society, and I received a citation in Cognitive Neuroscience. A citation is a special academic distinction awarded to an undergraduate student who has made particularly favorable impression on members of the faculty because of their unusual talents, dependability, initiative, resourcefulness, or other meritorious characteristics that are not indicated adequately by academic grades. By God’s grace, I hope to get many more in future terms.

Every day I walk with one desire in my heart, to be an example for others and to share the light that shines in me. Three years ago, while living in the DRC, my dreams were limited in the continent of Africa. However, now that I traveled beyond the frontiers of Africa, my eyes have opened, and I now see the possibility of doing even more. I have realized that in this land of opportunity, with hard work and dedication, anybody can succeed. That's why I am determined to work hard. My willpower to excel is unbreakable, and my dedication is immeasurable. Every bit of achievement throughout this journey would be unforgettable. However, while excelling, I would not stop learning because knowledge humbles me. That is why I rely on knowledge, and I want to use it to better Africa because “knowledge is a powerful tool that can transform the world.” (Madiba)

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