Today’s blog post is written by CROSO Board Member, David Blumenthal.
As a board member of CROSO for the past three years, I get to meet a lot of wonderful people supporting our organization.One of my favorite experiences, though, has been exchanging letters with the scholars we support. I would like to share with you a little about one of these scholars, Longora John.
John is a young man with a bright future, and someone that has overcome incredible odds. When he was a child, John’s family suffered from dual catastrophes. A war in northern Uganda resulted in his father joining the military. Over time, his mother was forced into the slums of Mbale before contracting AIDS. John, his four siblings, and a cousin were forced onto the streets. There, CROSO’s sister organization, C.R.O., brought in John from the streets and provided him with a stable and supportive environment. His path has taken a dramatic turn for the better through the help of C.R.O., CROSO, and John’s own unique talents and dedication.
At C.R.O., John has become an active and supportive member of the community. He is a friend to his brothers and sisters at C.R.O. and spends his free time sharing his love of music and soccer. In turn, he has been able to participate in unique opportunities. Before college, John spent a year in Norway as part of an exchange program. He is now a student at Ugandan Christian University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts. When he finishes his program in 2017, John hopes to become a secondary school arts teacher.
A college degree can be a long, arduous marathon rather than a sprint. Imagine how difficult this race can be for someone that has lost so much. And yet, John routinely expresses a deep gratitude and appreciation for the support of CROSO. He recently wrote to me how this past semester of student teaching at a secondary school in Mbale has instilled a feeling of hope that he will finish his college degree in 2017 and achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher.
It is rare in this day and age to be able to see the direct impact of the work we do. Longora John would not have been able to achieve his dream of becoming a teacher but for the support of CROSO and its donors, among others. I hope you can see how our work is having a profound impact on the lives of an inspiring young man, and how that investment will pay off by transforming communities for years to come. Thank you for your support of CROSO!