Wilson Kubwayo graduates with a Masters of Business Administration degree at age 23
Wilson Kubwayo is a Burundian diaspora and a young entrepreneur based in the U.S.
Wilson Kubwayo is an Inspirational speaker, writer and is also a founder of a young non-profit organization called Our Growth Project that is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Kubwayo recently graduated with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. He was one of the four winners of the MBA Academic in Excellence Award, an honorarium medal that was given to only four students from the MBA class of 2018 at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota.
From a young man who used to get into trouble at schools, Kubwayo has been able to turn his life around. Kubwayo grew up in Tanzania where he spent most of his childhood in the refugee camp. At age thirteen, Kubwayo and his family came to the United States in search of a new life and a better future.
Like many newcomers, Kubwayo did not speak English when he first arrived in America. A couple of months after arriving in America, Kubwayo was enrolled in 7th grade at a Middle school in Tucson, Arizona. “With lots of bullying at school, I had to better learn the English language fast so I can speak for myself,” Kubwayo recalls.
Kubwayo learned the English language fast which helped him to speak for himself. But knowing the language fast without fully emerging into the culture also got him into trouble at schools. “I felt fortunate for the ability to live and study in America. However, my mindset was still shaped by my years in the refugee camp. I had what I call a mind-virus, a negative way of thinking based on one’s circumstance or negative experiences that have taken place in one’s life.” In his teenage years, Kubwayo felt like his life kept going downhill. His family moved to Sioux Falls South Dakota where he turned his life around.
Today, Kubwayo is considered to be a successful young man with his accomplishments. “From a refugee kid who hated school and had no bright future, everything I have is a gift. I have come this far and I do not think I am planning to stop now” says Kubwayo.
When asked what motivates him to do what he does, Wilson responded, saying, “I want to make a difference in someone’s life because of my action. I know where I come from and how far I have come. Giving back is a necessity for me, not an act of kindness.”
Kubwayo has given speeches at a multitude of schools, corporations, and organizations.
One of the highlights from his speaking career was speaking in front of fewer than ten thousands of people at a Football game in South Dakota. His speeches focus on the power of a positive mindset and living life to one’s fullest potential.
While Wilson’s career in public speaking has grown, so too has his organization. Our Growth Project is now officially being fiscally sponsored by the Sioux Falls Arts Council turning the project into an actual organization. According to Kubwayo, Our Growth Project is an organization that is dedicated to “Discovering greatness in youths through edutainment: education, art & entertainment.”
The organization has created a free platform called Talent Open Mic where anyone can sign up to perform in front of the community. Kubwayo says, “The platform gives youths a voice and provides a positive environment for anyone to find their inner talent or simply share their story. The organization educates the community on modern issues that people have through art and entertainment.
From Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Portland, Oregon
Although Our Growth Project and Sioux Falls remain important to Kubwayo, he is now leaving them both behind. Kubwayo has recently relocated to Portland, Oregon where he has accepted a position as a Director of Community Engagement for the Refugee Center Online, an organization that helps refugees and immigrants build new lives in the United States.
Kubwayo hopes to contribute his efforts toward helping refugees and immigrants build a new life, globally. He plans to continue to help grow both Our Growth Project and his company, Wilson Inspiration, LLC.
All rights reserved. All photos were used with a special permission from Wilson Kubwayo.
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