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Gemima

Gemima Joseph: Year 3

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Gemima Joseph: Year 3

I’m into year three of my studies and so much has happened. I’m sure much has changed for you as it has for me. I graduated from JCCC in May with an Associate of Arts. With help from my advisor, the majority of my classes transferred to Washburn University. JCCC has been a wellspring of blessings. Although I lived far away from campus, my extracurricular activities have enriched my experience. My new-found interest in grassroots movement in Haiti began with a couple honors symposium and presentations I did my second year at JCCC. I had to do a lot of research and ask tons of questions about Haiti that I thought I knew, but in reality, I was very oblivious about.  My greatest achievement, in addition to doing honors, was working as a Student Admissions Ambassador. In addition to having an income, having this job help built my understanding of true leadership, representation, relational hierarchy, marketing and school pride. All this, coupled with regular attendance in clubs like Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Black Student Union heightened my understanding of who I am and how much I know, and more importantly how much more I have to learn.

Furthermore, the community that I’ve had during my time at JCCC really left a mark on me. I have received so much kindness from friends and professors who performed above what they needed to and went with me the extra mile. I graduated JCCC with close friends and family. I’m grateful that two of my brothers were able to attend. It was awesome, even with the unfortunate tornado weather! Needless to say, I’ve had an impeccable experience at JCCC. 

From this, things took a slight turn. A week after graduation, I had some unexpected health issues rise and I had to go to the ER twice. This is mainly due to a large uterine fibroid that I didn’t know I had, anemia, and constipation. I’ve been gradually recovering since then and have been intentional about my dietary plan and medicine. As of now, the plan is to take certain medicine to reduce the fibroid so I wouldn’t need to have surgery, but it’s all still unsure until I have more check-ups down the road.  

Not too long after leaving Lawrence Memorial hospital, my host family (the Prices) helped put together a garage sale for me. This kind gesture helped pay for some of my classes this fall. I had a quick transition from there. Through my friend, Matt Vincent, I was put in contact with a church friend (Debbie) who has graciously offered to host me here in Topeka during the rest of my studies at Washburn. Since last August, I started classes at Washburn University. I live 17 mins away from campus and this is a perk compared to the two hours commute I previously had. This semester, I’m enrolled in 15 credit hours consisting mostly of government and nonprofit management classes. If you know me well, you know I’ve been overjoyed with this schedule my advisor put together for me. For someone who’s pretty indecisive, I’m proud and in love with my major of Public Administration, which you don’t hear too often on college campuses. I can’t put into words how critical my time at JCCC has been. I am hoping the last three years and these upcoming ones are working together to open doors for a much brighter future for myself and my family.  

Thankfully, I am more than halfway through my studies and I am hoping to finish stronger than when I started. Compared to the community college I transferred from, Washburn is expensive, even with the scholarships I have received. As an international student, I’m not eligible for full time employment, off-campus employment, or student loans which is why this would not be possible without your generous contributions. For me to complete my education, I need to raise about $6500 per semester. This amount covers 15 credit hours each semester, mandatory insurance, and other pertinent school fees. This is still a discounted amount because of scholarships. While I’m financially unable to cover all the cost, I’m planning to continue searching for as many scholarships as possible to lower the cost and for my part-time job to provide for my personal needs. I’m still finalizing some paperwork with my advisor before I have a definite graduation date set, but I’m expecting it to be spring of 2021. Please consider donating to help me with academic and medical expenses. Checks can be made to The Oasis Project with education in the memo section and a separate note with my name on it. It takes a village and your sweat is well considered and is not taken for granted.  

Equally important is your prayers. I’m requesting prayers for four specific things in this season. First, I’m trying to be consistent and  continue in close proximity with God and keeping that a priority in my life. College keeps me busy and I have a pretty demanding schedule. My second and third request is prayers of financial provision for my family and citizens of Haiti. As you may have seen recently, Haiti is in turmoil….. Again. It’s unbearable to watch. I’m asking God to work in the hearts of its citizens and elected officials to make wise and selfless decisions and for the protestors to consider alternative methods to change instead of violence. There’s a loud plea from our people for the injustice happening and a greater need for security and economic opportunities. Lastly, I’m asking prayers for clarity and provision with my future as I wrap up my studies down the road and close a chapter of my life. I always love hearing from you all and I’m immensely blessed by your friendship and love of service to Him. 

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