Magazine On-line [summer 2009]
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Looking to the Future

Lino NakwaA little over a year ago, the Transylvania community embarked on a telephone and letter writing campaign on behalf of then junior Lino Nakwa (left). At age 12, Nakwa and his brother were kidnapped by rebels in his native Sudan, and five years after legally immigrating to the United States, his life was again threatened as he faced deportation over a controversial decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (his story was featured in the summer 2008 issue of Transylvania magazine).

As a result of the groundswell of support from Transy faculty, students, and staff, Nawka’s case was reopened for review, giving him hope that he may achieve his longtime dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. The admiration that his friends have for him was evident as Nakwa received his diploma this May amid cheers, an admiration that is mutually felt.

“I never imagined coming to such an important school like Transy,” he said. “It’s just amazing how it perfectly fit my needs. Having been here—the experiences I’ve had in class and out—shaped my perspective.”

It is the sense of responsibility toward the larger world that Nawka said makes Transy so unique. “It’s the concept of giving back to the community,” he said. “Not just sitting in class and not just your personal aspirations, but the sense of being a part of something larger.”

Nakwa plans to work for a year, then enter an MBA program with hopes of working in the banking industry. Though there is still no news on his immigration status, he is hopeful there, as well.

“I have a feeling there’s going to be a positive outcome,” he said. “I’m grateful for the help of the Transy community, and I will let Transy know the minute I hear a positive result.”

Back to Commencement 2009

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