Incoming Bryn Mawr Student Writes of Strength Drawn from Growing Up as an Orphan in Zimbabwe

Posted February 23rd, 2012 at 3:44 pm.

In this powerful piece published in the Feb. 12 edition of the The Sunday Mail of Zimbabwe, incoming Bryn Mawr student Gertrude Makurumidze of Zimbabwe writes about how the experience of losing her family to AIDS has motivated her to achieve her dreams of studying in the United States. Makurumidze is a participant in the United States Achievers Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

From the article…

“I write, not as an authority, not as a scholar, but as a survivor—the only remnant from a family of four.

Each successive family death has left an indelible mark on my memories and these mind-numbing episodes have shaped my perception of reality, vision of life, and my goals.

Ironically, these horrifying childhood experiences—the loss of my only sister, both of my parents, growing up in a society without parental protection—have strengthened my willpower beyond measure.

I have developed the will to achieve and to save humankind from the deadly effects of this pandemic. Impelled by this aspiration, I have developed a keen interest in the medical field, not as a mere profession but as a vocation and an apostolate.”

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