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Majors & Degrees

From setbacks to comebacks

January 19, 2024

A non-profit organization has helped four international students find their homes at DSU.

The four students found their way to Dakota State University this year through Second Chance at Higher Education, an organization dedicated to helping international students in need of financial aid and scholarships attend universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Second Chance at Higher Education was founded by Joan Liu after the University of Texas at Tyler revoked full scholarships for 62 international students in 2018. Liu, a college counselor, worked with a group of volunteers that called themselves the Nepal Justice League to find new universities to place the students. They also raised an additional $180,000 to fill gaps in financial aid and scholarships from the new schools.

Since then, Liu has continued the Second Chance initiative, serving as executive director and supporting international students who need help getting access to higher education due to financial difficulties. She and her team work to place students with full or nearly full scholarships.

In addition to sharing opportunities with students, Second Chance also helps the students navigate the international admissions process.

At DSU, Acley Bujune, Tracey Kwarteng, Shishir Poudel, and William Osie-Hwere are studying through the Second Chance at Higher Education organization.

Osei-Hwere is a computer science software engineering student from Ghana. He was nominated to join the program and found it a life-changing experience.

“It has been a privilege to be one of the many beneficiaries of this program,” Osei-Hwere said. “The program opened this opportunity that has had a huge impact on my life. Without the people managing this program, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Tracey Kwarteng, also from Ghana, was nominated for the program by her high school advisor.

“This program introduced me to a diverse group of individuals from various countries who have since become like family to me,” Kwarteng said. “It was through Second Chance that I developed life skills, such as effective communication, the art of making plans, and setting priorities.”

Kwarteng had never heard of DSU prior to Second Chance but has found endless possibilities and opportunities available at the University.

“It’s my first year at DSU, and I am currently majoring in Computer Science,” Kwarteng said. “The environment here is exceptionally friendly and peaceful, which has made my stay truly amazing.”

Acley Paul Bujune, from Tanzania, took a gap year after finishing high school and connected with Second Chance through his counselor.

After the trauma of not getting into a U.S. university with affordable financial aid, Bujune felt blessed to receive assistance from Second Chance.

“Landing in this program gave me the opportunity to apply to schools and connect with so many people who are kind and generous enough to do this while expecting nothing in return,” Bujune said, a computer science major.

Since arriving at DSU, Bujune has found activities to join, like the General Beadle Honors Program.

“One of my best memories is our recent honors trip to a theater show in Minneapolis, and I’m looking forward to more experiences like that,” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here at DSU.”

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