Mentoring Moment: an unfamiliar place provides a home, stability for mentee

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:22 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Growing into a new community can be full of anxious moments. For one Sioux Falls resident, his move was far less frightening than the circumstances that encouraged it. Joseph Rwibutso currently calls Sioux Falls home, but before he knew what the Sioux Empire had to offer, he grew up thousands of miles away in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His tribe was forced to leave the county because of war, and his home for the next few months would be a refugee camp in neighboring Burundi. Life was relatively peaceful for him until rebel soldiers raided that camp in 2004, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths.

The UN relocated Joseph and his family to Sioux Falls in 2007 where he has since graduated from Washington High School and South Dakota State University. While taking classes in college, Joseph worked part-time at First Premier Bank where he eventually met his mentor Dave Rozenboom.

“My heart told me, reach out to that gentleman, he’s a great guy and was willing to be my friend and my mentor,” said Joseph.

Joseph says lessons in commitment and integrity have been integral in supporting his own family, but he also inspired Dave to get involved in designing the program Career Connections” which is part of Forward Sioux Falls.

“I think the advantage of mentoring is we learn from each other, so it isn’t a one-way relationship,” said Dave Rozenboom.

Joseph also spoke about the people that continue to support him and how Americans are open-minded to help individuals no matter their background.

You can be a mentor and help others in our community through the Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative.

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