International student reaches for the sky in pursuit of lifelong dream

April 10, 2019

Where I’m from in Kenya, we don’t walk at night because there are so many wild animals. Snakes, elephants, buffalos and sometimes lions. When I would make the six-hour trek to get water, I could see elephants in the distance. They wouldn’t attack, but the buffalos could be very aggressive. Because I’m the eldest in my family, I could never let my sister do it, and just thinking about my brother gives me not the best feeling. He’s only six — I should be the one providing, the one making them comfortable, but instead I’m here so I can achieve my dream.

Becoming a pilot is something I’ve wanted since being a kid. I remember playing in the soil and seeing a plane pass over, and I wanted to become that person. When you’re in Grade 12, you choose the university programs and the courses you want to do, and if your grades are good, you’ll be picked for one of them. But aviation was not among any of the choices.

When my sponsor family learned how well I did in school, they wanted to help me further. I’ve known them since I was four years old. They told me I needed a degree before I could study aviation, and so they invited me to stay with them while I get a science degree.

It seemed like a dream. You think, this isn’t real. Some people thought it was a lie or a scam, but you have to have that faith. If someone told you that you’re going to get an education and have someone take care of you, you would think it was crazy. But I’ve been in touch with my sponsor family for so long, so I knew everything would be fine. They’re like my second family.

— Brian, 1st year Bachelor of Science student

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