Someone You Should Know: Overcoming obstacles to go to college

Balize Nilema is this week's Someone You Should Know
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:55 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - <<Balize Nilema recently starting working in the food service at Sanford Health.

“Usually I just take food to like patients and say ‘hi’, and ask for their name, and ask how their day is going,” said Balize.

The 20-year old has a bright future, after life got off to a tougher start...

“I came from Baridi, Tanzania. There was like a war. My family had to go to the refugee camp, which is where I was born,” said Balize.

Balize came to U.S. and Sioux Falls, with her family, when she was five.

“Obviously there’s like a big culture shock. So everything is different. Languages are different. So I went to Jane Addams, which is where everyone learns English no one knows English over there.”

What made things more difficult, Balize dealt with a stutter, which she would overcome.

“I think it’s more just speaking slowly and being more confident in what I say. I think that’s the big part, because when I was little, I didn’t have much confidence. But I’m learning to have more confidence,” said Balize.

The Brandon Valley High School graduate, is interested in a career in speech therapy.

“I want to help kids obviously first. Because I feel like they deal with a lot in elementary, because kids are very judgy. I want to help to feel confident in what they say,” said Balize.

Balize is going to go to college at Augustana. She won Sanford’s $5000 Equity in Education Scholarship, to help pay for that.

“I was so shocked. I didn’t know about it, because I was at home and I was struggling for stuff with paying for school now,” said Balize.

“And now she wants to give to children that were in her same spot. So her career goal of becoming a speech language pathologist. We hope that is Equity in Education Scholarship can be one help on the way to her career goals,” said Sanford Health’s Allison Hutchinson.

“I really want to have a future for myself as well, since my parents didn’t go to college. So I want to go to college, so I can help them, as well when I grow up so I can build a better life for them as well,” said Balize.

A great goal, with a plan to help others.

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