Reflections From a Grace Scholar: Musawenkosi Ndlovu
The Grace Scholarship Program is the result of a partnership between PVF and a donor to provide the critical gap funding necessary for bright, low-income Zimbabwean students who are a part of the US Achievers Program (USAP) to study at US and European universities. We interview a few of the Grace Scholars each year to learn more about their background, experiences in college, and plans for the future. Below is our interview with Musawenkosi Ndlovu, a sophomore at Warren Wilson College, double majoring in Business and Mathematics.
Tell us about your decision to study outside of your home country.
I remember when I once dreamt about where I am now, breaking generational barriers and defying the odds. The Ndebele blood that runs through me spoke more than the genetics that gave me my black kinky hair and thin eyebrows. I wanted to be the change and show women that it’s possible to achieve anything and everything. I am from a rural Zimbabwean village of Ntabazinduna, part of a home which strives to get a proper meal on the table, in a patriarchal community with very little resources and opportunities. I was raised to fight for the best, and to never underestimate the power of myself.
What types of activities are you involved in at school?
As an aspiring Actuary I am very ambitious about diving into the economic and agricultural sector in Zimbabwe cities. I am an Experiential Learning Student Coordinator currently leading programs and exploration in housing and homelessness, food security, youth and education, environment, race and immigration at Warren Wilson College. I am gaining the necessary knowledge and hands-on experience to look systematically at economic and environmental issues while also focusing on individual communities and their specific needs.
How has the Grace Scholarship helped you pursue your goals?
Studying abroad has brought so much hope for my family and community back home. I am so incredibly grateful for the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation for supporting my education at Warren Wilson College. My coursework is instilling so much vigor within me and passion to become a voice and effect change for the underprivileged communities to have equitable access to education and sustainable resources to improve quality of life. As an international student, I have grown from prioritizing my mental health and immersing myself in foreign cultures. My collegiate experience has taught me to face the unexpected with optimism and preparedness. It has supported my professional and leadership development and I am thankful that the Grace Scholarship made it possible for me to attend college.