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The Harvest of my Career: And, a Refugee from Chad

The Harvest of my Career: And, a Refugee from Chad

December 17, 2017

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

The harvest of my career: This is how I think of my time on the Board of Regents in South Dakota (BOR).  I am honored, and my new friends on the board know all sorts of things that I don’t know.  Recently, after a long series of BOR meetings with a very demanding agenda, we had the most unbelievably fabulous experience of meeting a young woman who is a refugee from Chad, deep in the heart of central Africa. Somehow she has made her way from her home in Chad to the University  Center (UC) of Sioux Falls, SD–no small feat!  Meeting Nadifa was truly a gift to us.

I am grateful that I could be there for this transformative moment in her life.  I hope that this will just be the beginning of the story of Nadifa.


After she  spoke to the gathering of legislators and regents, she and her mentor had to leave early, but three of us went back to visit with her a bit more with her.

As I approached Nadifa, I noticed that Barry Dunn, President of South Dakota State University was speaking quietly in the back of the room with Nadifa. He took off his SDSU lapel pin and gave it to her along with his card. He invited her to come to State and promised her that he would help her. Barry and Nadifa both had tears in their eyes. Next, I asked her if I could write about her; a few more little tears appears. Finally, one of the regents, Jim Thares, joined our little group. He offered her his business card, and whisper to her that he would pay her tuition.  A flood of tears.  

At this point, I know very little about Nadifa, but as she spoke with us I could hear that she has an important story to tell, and I hope to learn much more from her.


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