God has given me these opportunities. Higher education is a priviledge.”
Amal came to the United States almost three years ago and in that short time has earned his GED, learned accounting through the Job Corps Center and started his second year at AACC. The reason this is so remarkable is that he is one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. Due to the civil strife in his country, he was separated from his family at the age of eight and forced to march with thousands of other boys for three months. At the end of his ordeal, he had marched 1,000 miles and found himself in Ethiopia. He remained there for four years and lived through some unimaginable horrors. Eventually a relief organization helped him and many of the other boys relocate to the US. Several years ago, 60 Minutes produced a television documentary describing the plight of these youngsters.
The Bay Area Community Church is responsible for sponsoring Amal and three of his other “brothers” in a group home in Arnold. It is from this location that his fast-paced American education has taken place. With the help of two very generous college administrators, Director of Admissions, Tom McGinn and Director of Student Financial Services, Richard Heath, Amal was able work through the hurdles to access higher education in this country—something he never imagined possible.
“Everyone has been so kind. The instructors at the college have been wonderful and the tutoring available at the college has been particularly beneficial.”
Amal is a business administration major and hopes to transfer to the University of Maryland. He even dreams of law school one day. He says that with the help of his American friends he is able to do anything. His vision is to one day return to Sudan to help his people.
Amal considers himself one of the lucky ones. He is not an orphan like a lot of the other Lost Boys. His mother is still alive and he has had contact with her. More than anything else, he has been given a chance to receive an education that he never conceived was possible and the chance to prevent further atrocities in the future.