In a country at civil war, whenever the opposition soldiers invaded, my three sisters and I hid beneath our mother’s bed.
Times of peace afforded little added safety. Our small Ethiopian village had no health clinic. While I was yet a toddler, the village medicine man used an iron pulled from the fire to burn the “scoliosis” from my body. Multiple scars remain.
I knew, even though I was young, that if there had been a clinic, I would not have been a victim.
After graduating from SPU in 2010 with a degree in nursing, I’m now a nurse technician at Harborview Medical Center, dedicating my life to helping people receive proper medical treatment. My passion is to go into the world where poor people don’t have enough … and help them.
The road to graduation has not been easy. My father died and my mother had to move to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic in support of my sisters. It took me three years to be allowed to immigrate to America. At SPU, I juggled school, two jobs, and worry for my sisters and ill mother, whom I continue to support as much as I can.
Others came to my aid to help me secure that all-important diploma. Donors gave funds. Professors kept a close eye on my progress, helping me stave off discouragement. The question of why God brought me here pushed me to succeed. Everyone wants freedom; everyone’s supposed to have it. Here I can be whatever I want.
—Eyob Tesfayohannes '10