New Places, New Opportunities

Saleela Hollingsworth
Adjunct Instructor, Chemistry
Professional Tutor, LCC TRIO

Could you imagine being uprooted from your home because of genocide?  Imagine being transplanted into a new culture, with a new language and new customs. Would you be able to take classes in this new place, while simultaneously supporting your family? A student of mine, Sadick, has dealt with just this, and has excelled academically to become one of my most motivated and highest-achieving students at LCC. Sadick was born in Sudan but had to flee during the Darfur genocide to Ghana. From Ghana, he came to Lansing as a refugee in 2013. He joined LCC to obtain a quality post-secondary education to prepare him for a career in medicine and to transfer to a top-ranked 4 year-university. Sadick is selfless; his smile is infectious and he is always willing to put others before himself. On top of this, his work ethic is remarkable; as a student of mine in two chemistry classes, he excelled to achieve a 4.0 in both classes.

I first met Sadick at the TRIO tutoring center where he would spend hours after classes studying and doing his homework. When he realized that I could help him with his work, he gravitated towards me and we would work together almost every day. I found Sadick to be a humble, honest and hardworking individual who wanted to excel in everything that he did. He looked up to me not just for help in his academics but also for advice, mentoring, and encouragement. The two of us became really close and Sadick and I shared a lot of our personal journeys that brought us as immigrants to the United States. To put it in his own words; “We had everything but lost it all and now we are in a better place.”

Sadick is currently spending his summer doing biological research at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, where he investigates stem cells as a potential therapy for regenerative medicine. He will attend Michigan State University in the fall to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemisry. His passion for medicine and helping others, together with the opportunities that he received at LCC, will undoubtedly lead him to be successful in every one of his endeavors, and his past experiences and obstacles have only served to propel him further on his journey.