Everyday when I wake up I remember one of my favorite quotes “If we do not like the results we are getting, we must change whatever habits that keep us from having the same results. To measure our goals we should appreciate every single progress we are making towards our bigger plans”. Growing up in Mozambique I had the opportunity to meet and build strong friendships with tourists and American Peace Corps volunteers. At the time I was a 16 year-old boy trying to sell cashews and seafood in order to survive and pay for my studies. Time passed and during my junior year studying history of politics and public management at a local university (Universidade Pedagogica Maxixe), a former Peace Corp volunteer sent me a link to apply for Global UGRAD. I remember telling her that I didn’t think I could qualify. Two weeks before the deadline she told me that it was my last “warning” and I should apply. That is when I finally started the process, and I am glad I did take the decision. I was the first Mozambican to be selected as a Global UGRAD scholar (2013-2014) when the program was introduced in Mozambique.
I went to study international relations at Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts. When I arrived at my new school not only did I take classes, but also I got involved in many activities including volunteering, and participating in cultural clubs. I was even given the honor of becoming a presidential ambassador. Essentially, I represented Endicott students in meetings with trustees and alumni. I also helped the college to make decisions regarding certain things from the student perceptive.
Before I returned to Mozambique, the president of Endicott College offered me a full scholarship to get my masters in business administration. After all the experience I had in the US, I came home with the light to share what I have learned. I started an alumni program at my local university which still runs today. I also volunteered as high school English teacher for one semester. Now I have my masters in business administration and I have been encouraging and sharing resources with my high school former students and university students through social media!
Above all, this would not have happened without the help of Global UGRAD. A single opportunity can open many others. I am thankful to the hard working Global UGRAD team who continues to change peoples lives including mine. I strive everyday to do the same.
Written by Euclidio “James” Alberto, Global UGRAD 2013-2014, Endicott College