Born in the Congo, Nora Hakizimana came to the United States at age 8 with her father and step-mother. She spoke no English but dreamed of the many advantages her adopted homeland could offer – including an outstanding education. Part of that dream came true a few years later when Hakizimana received an acceptance letter from CBA, along with a financial assistance package that would give her the necessary resources to attend the school.
“I was 11 or 12 when I first heard of this place called ‘CBA’,” said Hakizimana. “It seemed like a well-organized school where there were not too many distractions in the classroom, where teachers helped you and made sure you understood things, and where people really cared about you. I was so excited for the opportunity to attend.”
Just finishing her sophomore year at CBA, Hakizimana speaks English fluently and has worked hard to make the Honor Roll and enroll in advanced classes. She has her eye on college and knows the opportunity for a CBA education has put her on the path to achieving her very own American dream.
“I’ve been thinking about how much CBA has assisted me and others who receive financial assistance, and I realize that with the very generous support of the CBA community, we will be able to achieve the freedom, education, and, indeed, adventure, that had been only a dream to me,” she said. “Coming to this country has been a struggle for me and my parents, but they take great pride in knowing that CBA believed in me enough to offer me the rich education I am getting here. I know that I am being well-prepared for college and for life.”
Like Hakizimana, more than one-third of CBA’s students receive some form of financial assistance. Much of that comes from the school’s endowment fund, which has been given a significant boost in recent months thanks to the success of To Be the Best. Within the next five years, the newly expanded funds are expected to allow the school to offer $1 million annually in financial assistance to low and middle-income families.
“I am quite frankly amazed at the level of generosity and support that surrounds Christian Brothers Academy,” said Brother Joseph Jozwiak, FSC, who joined CBA as the school principal in July. “It is an exciting time, and we are so pleased to be able to not only offer an outstanding education but also the resources to provide financial assistance to those students who need it the most.”
“Nora Hakizimana is a fine example of a student whose obvious goals, perseverance and abilities have been enhanced by the opportunities a CBA education can provide,” he added. “To Be the Best truly has allowed us to make that a reality for more qualified students in the years ahead.”
Combining her world awareness with an ability to organize an event, Nora coordinated a most succesful “Conert for Rwanda and Kenya in early April, capping CBA’s Twinning drive for the year.