Kepler Opens New Pathway for Refugee Alumnus

Scrolling through LinkedIn, Elmac Ngango recently secured a job opportunity working remotely for a US-based company. He attributes his ability to get the opportunity to the digital skills he gained while at Kepler.

Kepler prioritizes education and learner competencies plus getting almost 90 per cent of its students to work within six months of graduation.

Students are equipped with soft skills such as communication skills, technology or digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, research and analytical skills as well as cultural literacy.

The nature of Kepler’s structure helps students to learn by doing. Students are able to interact with the real-world and workplace experience.

In an interview, Ngango said that Kepler had equipped him with 21st century skills which have helped him to pave a pathway to employment. But his story has not always been that rosy.

Three months after Ngango was born in 1997, his parents fled the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Rwanda.

They settled in the Kiziba refugee camp in western Rwanda where Ngango, the fourth born in a family of ten, grew up and went to primary and secondary school.

Kiziba is the oldest refugee camp in Rwanda, and is home to more than 17,000 refugees, primarily from the eastern part of the DRC.

In 2018, Ngango applied to Kepler to pursue his degree with Southern New Hampshire University. The partnership allows Kepler students to pursue a US degree as well as Kepler’s unique employment focused programming.

He was accepted into the school after passing both the written and oral entry examinations. To Ngango, getting accepted into Kepler Kiziba was a huge deal.

“It was a great achievement and opportunity living in the refugee camp and yet having access to a US-accredited college degree,” he said with a wide smile wrapped over his face. “I am truly proud of what I have become of myself.”

After undergoing the Kepler foundational program, Ngango chose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Management with a concentration in Logistics and Operations.

“The nature and quality of education at Kepler is absolutely fantastic. It empowered me to not only gain new skills but to exercise integrity in whatever I do,” he said.

He learned a lot about interpersonal communication and relationship building, a skill that he used to secure his new job opportunity.

“I am proud that Kepler raised my level of self-confidence. The experience enabled me to learn about myself. I am able to understand and appreciate my capabilities,” he said.

Ngango managed to secure a job with a telecommunications company in Kigali five months before his graduation and attributes it to his ability to network with people, a skill he learned from Kepler.

Ngango keeps in the know and just recently, he got another bigger job while scrolling through LinkedIn. He shared his excitement about the discovery and how working remotely means flexibility to accomplish his other goals.

‘’I will ensure that I meet the time difference, find a noise free workspace with very good internet connectivity so that I deliver effectively,’’ said Ngango who lives with and supports some of his siblings.

“My word of inspiration to current students is that they should push as hard as they can in order to discover and invest in their own strengths,” he added.