2016 Auburn Adult Education Edward Little High School
$5000 R. M. Davis, Inc. Mainely Character Scholarship
Kyanda’s remarkable journey, which began in the Democratic Republic of Congo 24 years ago, reached a major milestone with earning his high school diploma through the Auburn Adult Education program in 2016 Kyanda’s personal story exemplifies perseverance, commitment to family, and courage, all attributes that helped him to survive life in refugee camps. When war broke out near their home, his family fled on foot. They had to leave everything behind. After walking for months, they ended up at a refugee camp in Zambia.
Kyanda was determined to get a formal education despite incredible obstacles. As a child, he was educated primarily by his father, who had a college degree. He did not start formal schooling until he was 12, in the refugee camp. At age 18, his family finally came to the United States. When he came to Maine, he tried to enroll in high school, but learned he was too old. Although he was offered a GED, he was determined to earn a “real” diploma. He moved to Lewiston-Auburn to participate in the Auburn Adult Education Program.
Kyanda hoped to eventually take his education back to the Congo and change things there for the better. He wanted to make documentaries showing the everyday lives of ordinary people. Enrolled in Columbia College in Los Angeles, a film school, he “dream(s] big to change people’s lives.”