In Grace Scholarship Program, non-profit, philanthropy, PVF News, scholarships

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 Olive Iragena, a student at Wilmington College in Ohio.


Tell us about your decision to study outside of your home country.

Studying in the USA has been a dream of mine since high school. I wanted to experience a new culture, meet people from different backgrounds, and gain a global perspective on different aspects of life. When I received the Grace Scholarship, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to make my dream a reality.

Was it difficult transitioning to a different culture?

Transitioning to a different culture was challenging at first. Everything was new and unfamiliar, from the food to the language to the customs. But I was determined to adapt and make the most of my experience. I joined clubs: WC International club (Vice President), and organizations such as STEM Society e.t.c on campus, provide services to different homeless shelters, and connect with people around the world. I have managed to explore 7 different states while involved in service, basic research and academic trips.

What is your greatest accomplishment at school thus far?

As a Biological Health Sciences major and Chemistry Minor, my greatest accomplishment at school thus far has been completing my first year with 4.0 GPA (Dean’s List) and embracing my culture through performing my cultural dance. I have managed to work as a student assistant to the office of Student Affairs and Dean of Student, and social media director of Peace Resource Center and Quaker Heritage Center.

How has the Grace Scholarship helped you pursue your goals?

Receiving the Grace Scholarship has been a huge blessing, as it has allowed me to focus on my studies without financial burden. It has also given me the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and give back to the community.

Overall, studying in the USA has been an incredible experience that has taught me so much about myself and the world around me. I am grateful for the Grace Scholarship and the opportunities it has provided me. I look forward to continuing my studies and making the most of my time.

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