Jacob Pec Mayen Chout - Alum of the Student Refugee Program
Jacob Pec Mayen Chout - Alum of the Student Refugee Program

How Jacob Pursued his Dreams Through the WUSC Student Refugee Program

Jacob has always been passionate about his studies. While growing up in a refugee camp in Uganda, he devoted a lot of time to studying to achieve his dream: to win a scholarship to study aerospace engineering at a university.

He did well on the final exams to get his high school diploma, with an average above the required 75%. Despite this, he was not selected for a scholarship. Seeing the door close on one of the few opportunities he had to pursue postsecondary education, he thought his dreams were over.

“I lost all hope that I’d ever be able to attend university… I didn’t know what kind of future I could hope for.”

Then Jacob learned about WUSC. People encouraged him to apply to the Student Refugee Program because of his good marks and qualifications. He knew there would be a lot of competition, and that, sadly, there are not enough opportunities available for everyone. But he applied, and he hoped.

When he found out he was accepted into WUSC’s Student Refugee Program, he felt a huge weight lift off his shoulders. He knew this was going to change everything for him.

“WUSC is so special! They are the only organization with a refugee resettlement program that offers young people like me a chance at a post-secondary education.”

It was exciting to be accepted into the program and become a permanent resident of Canada. But Jacob was also very sad to leave his loved ones to travel to the other side of the world. He knew that even if it was going to be hard, he had to take this chance to continue  his studies and work towards a better life. 

When he arrived in Canada,  his hosts in the WUSC Local Committee welcomed him with open arms. He found that many Canadians are very welcoming, curious, and passionate to learn more about other people and cultures. “I have made a lot of friends and, in a sense, have created my own family here.”

He says that what makes WUSC’s Student Refugee Program unique is that he receives support that prioritizes his safety. He gets an education and a new country to call home. He also has a network that will care about him long beyond graduation.

While Jacob pursues his dream of becoming an aerospace engineer, he is also learning how to swim, taking bike rides with friends around Kaslo, British Columbia, and trying out paddle sports at school. 

Since moving to Canada, Jacob says he has come to believe that nothing is really impossible. He knows his dreams will come true.

There are 26 million refugees around the world. Many of them are young people just like Jacob. When he speaks with friends at home, he hears how all the students are studying so hard because they know there’s something out there that might give them the opportunity of a lifetime. 

He has a message for those who support this work and make everything possible: “I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for believing that young people like me should have a life full of possibilities!”

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