Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Liberian student sweep excellence acadamic award in the U.S.

Dover, Delaware. On May 8, 2007, Kolubah Kpokai became the focus of photographers attending the 2007 Nursing Class pinning ceremony at The Delaware Technical & Community College Terry Campus in Dover, Delaware. During the ceremony, Kolubah received the highest 2007 Practical Nursing “Spirit of Nursing” award. The spirit of nursing award is based on academic and practical performance. Kolubah was described by one of his faculties as “courageous, determine, respectful, and intelligent young man with a bright future.
Practical Nursing is one of the highest money making fields in the U.S. but achieving the license is a though journey. Usually, lots of students are thrown out of the program because of poor academic performance but kolubah work tirelessly to break the academic records in the college.
On the podium, Kolubah “along with his fellow candidates” solemnly pledge before God, and in the presence of the assembly to:
.Conduct personal and vocational life according to the highest moral and ethical standards:
.Refrain from doing or saying anything that is harmful or mischievous;
.Refuse to take or knowingly administer any harmful drug;
.Hold in strictest confidence all personal matters committed to their care;
.Do all in their power to maintain and evaluate the standards of their vocation;
.Devote to the welfare of those committed to the care;
On May 14, 2007, the Annual Commencement Ceremony of the Delaware Technical & Community College was held on the campus of the Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. Kolubah was the only Liberian among 275 graduates. He swept another high honor of academic performance recognition.

Academic Regalia (courtesy of DTCC)

The use of the academic regalia costume, which seems to have originated in the English Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, has been traditional in University life since the medieval times. In England and other European Countries, academic attire generally is distinctive with each university so that very colorful ensembles of diverse styles are commonly used abroad.
Unlike European academic apparel, the academic costume of American universities follows a regular pattern, the styles and colors having been established by intercollegiate agreement in 1895. Cap, hood, and gown are prescribed in style. Color variations indicate differences in the field of knowledge presented and conferring institutions.
The mortarboard cap is identified as holders of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. For holders of the doctorate, the cap may be made of velvet and the tassel may be gold. Candidate for degrees wear the tassel on the right side of the cap, changing it to the left side after the degrees have been conferred.
The hood is the most distinctive feature of academic attire. Used originally as a cowl, as a shoulder cape, and as a container in which to collect alms, it is now worn at the back suspended near the shoulder. The hood for the master’s degree is three and a half feet long with a three-inch border. The doctor’s hood is four feet long and the border is five inches wide. The inner lining of the hood is in the official colors or colors of the institution conferring the degree, while the color of the border indicates the field of learning in which the degree is earned.
Members of Terry Campus (Kolubah’s Class) are wearing academic regalia made up in colors of the college rather than in traditional black. The hood worn by graduates receiving associate degrees are black with the school colors (green and white) as trim.
Those who are graduating with summa Cum Laude (Highest Honor) wear gold. Those who graduate with Cum Laude wear (Honors) wear white cord.
In a brief interview, Kolubah overtly declared his intention of returning home to help structure the health system in his native Liberia. When asked how soon, he said “I will have to obtain my master’s, doctorate, or PhD before returning home to stay or help with the structuring of the health system in Liberia. Kolubah will be returning to school come January 2008 to work on his RN (Register Nurse). According to the Delaware Tech (DTCC) curriculum, Kolubah has two more semesters to obtain his RN.


Kolubah hailed from a Tiny West African Country of Liberia. Founded by free American slaves in the early 18 century, Liberia enjoyed American supports and protection until 1989 when rebels of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia lunched a senseless civil war that lasted for fourteen years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and properties whilst the launchers of the war lived extravagant life style at the expense of the country. As a result of the outbreak of violence amongst factional leaders in Monrovia in 1996, Kolubah was forced to flee home in search of security in another country. His thoughts were enticed by promises of a better life in refuge or another country.
The overcrowded refugee camp of Buduburam “where Kolubah sought refuge” became a breeding ground for poverty. His life in refuge became filled with disappointments.
Like many refugees or exiles, Kolubah find it very difficult to dismiss memories of his home. When one flees a war zone, all that one often takes are memories of painful occurrences and otherwise. Many store these memories as images of the world left behind. Some keep them as stories worth telling later on. Images or memories followed us wherever we go and can define and shape our dreams and choices. Sometimes too, the paths we choose in life are strewn with discarded images of our past and our conversations with others are colored by our past experiences.
Kolubah grew up experiencing poverty. Many days, he went to bed hungry or felt asleep shivering from the cold. Some blessed individuals in the community felt sorry for him and had to go against their way to stretch helping hands to him. Poverty, however, remains a harsh reality for people who are plagued by civil war and other humiliating problems in third world countries.
In 2002, Kolubah migrated to the United States and took two years to get prepare for college. He entered the Delaware Technical & Community College in 2004. Kolubah and few other Liberian students have set good or excellent academic records at the College. Over the years, Eugene Kortee has appeared on the Dean list several times. Last semester, Sam K Zinnah bounced back and appeared on the Dean list of the college. At the end of the program, kolubah ended up with two certificates in the back seat of his car.
Preparations are underway for a small palm wine party to be held on May 26, 2007 in Dover, Delaware.

Sam K Zinnah
Dover, Delaware

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Immigration problems faced by African Students in the U.S.

The United States citizenship and immigration service is the branch of Federal government which is responsible for entering and departing of people (immigrants) from other countries. In the United States, the New York branch is responsible for examining most African students. The documents usually viewed by immigration are the passport from the student’s country and the visa from the American Embassy from the country where the individual(s) is/are traveling. It is advisable that students who are travelers get educated about the laws of any country that they intend to visit. Knowing more about a country should enable students to avoid being caught in immigration webs while abroad. (Based on personal experiences)

Most African students, when in Africa, have different perception about the United States. The fact that the United States being the land of opportunity, has opened all her doors to immigrants and hence would empowered them (immigrants) to take advantage of the United States resources. That, to a degree, is wasteful thinking, because the United States, like any other nation, has it own internal problems. For example; the nation’s public assistance program, the influx of refugees from Far East, the worldwide infliction and the exodus of Latin American citizens to United States borders keeps the United States on it toes.

For some of the above reasons, African students who come to the United States, a huge percent of whom want to see their dream of an American education become a reality, are caught in the webs of immigration laws. According to a recent survey conducted by the African Students Association in the United States (ASAU), more than half of African Students in the United States have had some type of immigration problem with the United States immigration. Because of past experiences of more than half of African students in the U.S. have some type of immigrants of educational interest feels uncomfortable discussing their plight with United States immigration for fear of being deported or placed behind bars.(www.USCIS.gov/africa)

Independent African students are defined as those without the full financial support of their government, foreign companies or churches, but are here through the support of families or other individuals. Every Africa students who travel to study abroad perhaps realizes that leaving one’s homeland to a foreign land is a unusual experience which one has to face abroad. Though the united states, like any other nations, respect her law enforcement, this does not mean that those who responsible to execute the nation’s laws are running every where seeking African students who are residing in the United States illegally.

Every organization or government has a set of rules by which it governed. Therefore, there are laws which every one who lives within the United States most obeys. One of those laws is having a proper document. It is the responsibility of each foreign student (s) in the U.S. to report to the United States immigration for renewal of visa every time it expires. At each renewal, the student in question must report a financial statement from his/her sponsor. Government employment being the primary source of income in most African countries, sometimes makes it difficult especially for those whose sponsors are government employees. As government changes in Africa, the people whose lifestyle depended on it, find themselves either in prison or without job (s). The frustrations of not been able to hear from one’s sponsor usually leads to an unoccupational (job) hunt which is illegal, according to the immigration law.

Some Solutions to the United States Immigration Conflicts

The United States, being all of the nationalities and the leader of the free world, has different methods of approaching crisis on separate levels. There are definitely some popular solutions to aid those who enter this great nation from other parts of the world, but for Africans, the chances are very narrow. Most of the foreigners migrated to the United States mostly from Europe. This means that newcomers have close relatives. But the African mostly come to the United States on Students’ visas. As students, they have to walk the straight line of the law. As the land of the free, even the law breakers have the legal rights to remain silent when arrested because what ever flies out of one’s mouth may be held against them in a court of law. These are the words of the fifth amendment of the United States constitution. (Karen O’Connor &Larry J. Sabato, 2006 edition)
Even with such freedom by law, African students in American communities are careful in avoiding confrontations and embarrassment by the United States immigration Department. One of the ways to avoid conflict with the United States Immigration is to remain in school until the completion of one’s program of studies. In fact, everyone around this globe of ours, especially in the United States, is aware that as the cost of living and education continue to escalate, people continue to hunt for supplementary income. Because of this, most self-supporting African students may be forced to find themselves low level employment in order to make ends meet. However, in their struggles, school administrations usually remain supportive, especially when they realized that the student has determination for an American education.
Another solution for self-supporting African students to deal with their conflicts with the U.S. Immigration Department is to acquire an immigration lawyer. Like other professionals in the United States, there are more lawyers in every large American city.
Getting one self involved in matrimony with an American citizen or permanent resident seem to be another method of solving Immigration problems before it gets out of control. On the other hand, matrimony between any couple should be for the purpose for which it was intended by God.

It appears that the spirit of friendship between African Americans and Africans which existed in the late 1950s and the earlier 1960s seems to be diminishing. To be able to regain that warmness and understanding, African students in the United States need to get themselves involved in some black awareness programs in urban schools and churches. The black history months in February of each year should be the starting point. Most importantly, African pupils need to adjust to the changing life in the United States. They must, among other things, learn how to serve the two cultures.
The 1984 presidential race of the rev. Jesse Jackson and his continuous march against apartheid around the South African embassy in Washington DC created some sense of hope and co-operation of African Americans and Africans. Another sign of hope has been the awarding of the Dr. Martin Luther-King, Jr. Non-Violence Medal in January 1986 to Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. It is important to emphasize that there is still a lot to be done. The two groups must continue to work together, respect each other’s cultures and develop an economy community. The road to unification is going to be a long one, but is not impossible.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Time for baby's shower!

It's a cute boy

The Zinnahs welcome you to their baby shower.

Victoria Korpo Zinnah

July 7, 2007

7:00 PM

186 garrison lake blvd, Smyrna, DE 19977

Given by

302 388 1759 or 302 241 1442
Bring all your dancing shoes and get ready to swing in the dust till rooster straut.
For registry information, visit the below web sites:
The mother to be is registered at: Baby R us, Target, and Burlington coat factory. Visit any one of them online