Lexington Campus graduate Patrick Lukonga knows the value of an education. It’s something he does not take for granted.
"Here, I enjoy everything"
Patrick came to the United States in 2006 as a refugee from his homeland of The Congo. “My refugee camp was in Zimbabwe; I was in Zimbabwe for five years (2001-2006),” he explains. Displaced by years of rebellion, political unrest, and corruption that has plagued one of Africa’s largest countries, Patrick is now a part of Lexington’s sizeable Congolese refugee community. Not merely content to escape the chaos of his home country, however, Patrick has seized the opportunity to improve himself. “I was [interested in coming] to school,” he continues. “That was important to me, after living for a long time in the [refugee] camps.”
Patrick has found his niche in the international language of business accounting. Having completed his associate degree in business administration-accounting in the 2008 Fall Term, Patrick is taking a short break before beginning his bachelor’s degree program at National in March of 2009. “Here, I enjoy everything,” he admits. In particular, though, his classes in Economics and Business Law were “wonderful to me, and I just keep reading those books.”
Patrick feels a responsibility to return to his home country upon completing his education. “I’ll go back,” he says. “That’s my country, and people need me.” With his American education and work experience, Patrick feels he can serve as a bridge between two worlds and in so doing, help his country to modernize and achieve prosperity. “It’s a sad situation in my country,” he laments. “The Congo is among the richest countries in the world (in terms of its natural resources), but the population is poor.”
“I need to go back.”