Shaunda Shaw & Shineil Taylor
Brianna Ebony Simpson
Nathaniel Nyok had to flee his burned-out village of Bor, Sudan when he was a child. The GPC graduate wants to build a high school in that same village. Nyok credits his Georgia Perimeter College English instructor, Mary Helen Ramming, for inspiring him to give back to the village he left behind. Ramming credits her student for inspiring her to help young refugees in the Atlanta area.
It all started with an introductory assignment Nyok wrote in Ramming’s English 1101 class called, “How Did I End Up in This Class?” The GPC instructor was so moved by Nyok’s story that she started tutoring young refugee boys and developed an academic curriculum for refugee girls, among other initiatives. Nyok was inspired by his instructor’s enthusiasm. He created and runs a nonprofit organization called, SAVES, an acronym for Sudanese American Voices for Education Services.
While he was at GPC Nyok returned to his childhood village and was horrified to see that the children had no school building. “Children were learning under trees, if they had class at all,” he says. “I decided the only way I can give back to the community is to help build a school. Ms. Ramming helped encourage me to do this.”
Nyok is hopeful that he will build his school, because peace is finally coming to his native region of Sudan. At GPC he also developed the tools needed to achieve his goals.