Lakka Benti ’17 is the second child in her family to attend Northwestern. Here she shares how faith and education have had a deep impact on her and her family—and how financial support from people like you has made a difference.
My name is Lakka Benti I am a recent graduate at University of Northwestern majoring in International Relations with an emphasis in Public Relations.
My story all starts when my parents, my two siblings and I moved here from Ethiopia. Living in Ethiopia was home but the corruption of the government and the system made it a difficult place to live for a family with worrying everyday about the safety of their kids.
My parents loved having family and friends around but in the end they understood that if they wanted their kids to get anywhere in this world they needed to give them a better life; not a better life you can get with money but a better life where we will be safe and get great education. In 2005 my parents made the hardest choice for the family by deciding that we will be moving to the states.
World upside down
When we moved here our world was turned upside down, life was difficult and as a 10-year-old I understood life was hard. As my parents are educated and accomplished in life when they were in Ethiopia, all which did not matter in United States. As one of the laws in Untied States, many degrees around the world do not transfer here, which means you have to attend school all over again to get anywhere in life.
This was very difficult for my family because my parents had to work very hard to make ends meet. Even if life was very difficult, never did they complain for what was happening. My parents always remind us that God has a purpose for us here and even if we couldn’t see it, we have to trust.
My parents always made sure we were strong in our faith and focused on our education because that was their prayer everyday. Every prayer my parents prayed was always thanking God that their children were getting an education that can change this world, where we can make a difference in this world.
The impact of education
As my oldest sister went to college, she decided to come to Northwestern for Biochemistry, which changed her life and my whole family's life. It showed us that God has blessed us with opportunity where she can go to a Christ-centered school with outstanding education. .
In 2013 I decided to come to University of Northwestern because I knew God was calling me here and I wanted the opportunity to learn more about the Bible as much as my major. By coming here I knew I was going to get not only an education but also mentors that will be there for me the rest of my life.
God has a purpose
My experience has been so great and it has given me an explanation on all the things we went through. God had a purpose for us. As I pursue an International Relations major, I want to continue my education in diplomatic studies and make a difference in countries like Ethiopia.
Over the years my parents have fallen in love with Northwestern. They believe that God has given them this gift that has changed their life. They pray everyday for all the people that have helped us get here, without financial support I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come here.
University of Northwestern has blessed and supported my family in so many ways. As I talk to my dad everyday he always reminds my siblings and me that God has blessed us all and that there are many people in this world that are not getting the same opportunities.
Every accomplishment that happens to me is part of my testimony on what God has done for me. As many think that they go to school for themselves, I could proudly tell you that I go to school for myself and my family because they are the reason why I am here.
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