When she was a first grader, Seconde Nimenya witnessed the first civil war in her native country of Burundi, in East-Africa. Her parents were nearly killed because of their ethnicity. Many members of her extended family and her friends’ died in the war. Born in a mud hut, with dirt floors, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no telephone, Nimenya fought to get an education, a rare luxury that was not encouraged for girls. To get to her boarding high school, Nimenya walked─ a trip that took her two days across mountains and valleys. There were many opportunities for her to drop out of school, like many other girls in her village. But despite so many obstacles, she persisted and never gave up. After high school, she attended university and thus, became the first girl in her family, and even in her village to graduate from a university. In 1993, due to another civil war in her native country, Nimenya became a war refugee in Canada, where she lived more than ten years, before moving to the United States, where she pursued and obtained her MBA.
A Long Way to School: A Story of Overcoming Challenges and Never Giving Up
Seconde Nimenya, author