We're approaching graduation season and one local college student has come a very long way.
Prince Abudu is a Morehouse senior from Zimbabwe.
And while he didn't start with much, his hard work and determination has now drawn international recognition.
“I didn't know I would be here. I couldn't even imagine it. It's just been phenomenal.”
Growing up on a small farm in Chegutu, Zimbabwe in southern Africa, little Prince Abudu's primary focus was on survival.
His single mother made just $40 dollars every two weeks.
“She would go to the market in the morning and get a lot of citrus fruits that she would sell for a profit of 40 or 50 dollars. Bearing in mind that my fees are over 600 dollars, she had to do this several times.”
Still, she insisted that her academically gifted son attend boarding school. It was his best shot at success.
“I couldn't be irresponsible. I didn't have that choice. It was built into my character because I wanted to change the situation for my family.”
His youthful determination, disciplined work ethic and flawless academic records didn't go unnoticed.
A foundation called "Higher Life" offered to sponsor his college studies and supplied airfare to a faraway place called "Atlanta."
“I had never left the continent or been on a plane before so everything was a new experience for me.”
Arriving at Morehouse College with its legacy of academic greatness was like entering the gates of heaven.
He’s not from the rough side of some American city or the nice side of an American suburb. He's from Zimbabwe. And not just Zimbabwe, He's from poverty.
Once Morehouse happened and I got to Morehouse, I realized that I could dream bigger. I could think international. I could think of going global in terms of my aspirations.”
And that's exactly what he's done. He was recently selected as a 2016 International Rhodes Scholar.
It's no small feat, It's probably the toughest competition in terms of academic excellence in higher education....in the world.
So what’s next? It seems the possibilities are endless!
“Today is just a great day because I got my acceptance into oxford.” “Today? That’s amazing. Congratulations!”
It's an acceptance greenlighting his next great adventure.
In England, he'll still be far from home, but one big step closer to his dream of giving back to his homeland.
Prince plans to pursue a Masters degree in "Engineering Science" at Oxford.
His focus will be in "optical wireless communications" which is using light to transmit data signals.
He says all of that he learns and all that earns, he wants to give back to his family in Africa.