The Erin Tierney Kramp scholarship goes to a student who exhibits courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. Ibrahim Kamara, this year’s winner, faced adversity that few Americans could even imagine.
Ibrahim fled civil war and a sadistic regime of rebels who invaded Freetown, Sierra Leone, when he was a child. Education suffered as survival became paramount. Ibrahim witnessed atrocities and ran from the war, only to return four months later and lose his sight.
He fought back, however, and regained his vision after doctors discovered that his eyes had become infected with gunpowder. He focused his life on learning and became prefect of his high school in Freetown as well as president of his science club.
That tenacity and courage finally brought Ibrahim to the United States and Brookhaven College.
Ibrahim is working on an associate degree in engineering. He plans to transfer and eventually earn a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wants to use that degree to invent technology to help reduce the effects of global warming and also to conduct research and develop “quick and easier tests and treatments for cancer.”
Ibrahim was recognized recently as the 2014-2015 recipient of DCCCD’s Erin Tierney Kramp Encouragement Endowed Scholarship. The award will help him reach for his dreams: It covers tuition and books for up to six semesters.