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Herman Chenwi, Student

Herman’s HCC journey can be described in one word: serendipitous.

It began in his home country of Cameroon, where he struggled with hunger, abuse and little opportunity. His luck changed when he entered a lottery organized by the United States government, which granted permanent citizenship to select individuals who had earned their high school diploma and wished to continue their studies in the states. Herman’s name was selected, and he left Cameroon to come live with family in Howard County. Even then, Herman knew nothing about HCC.

All of that changed after he impressed during a pickup soccer game at Cedar Lane Park – a game in which several members of the men’s soccer team happened to be playing. They encouraged Herman to check out the college, and before long he was sitting in the Admissions Office meeting with an advisor. Herman has since strived to make the most of his opportunity: he’s learned English, served as a peer mentor and a scribe for students with disabilities, earned the Scott Caplan Innovators Scholarship, and participated in Alternative Break trips, traveling to the Dominican Republic to teach English and Michigan and New Jersey to build homes with Habitat for Humanity.

Herman transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to complete his bachelor's degree. He is a pre-medicine major and endeavors to eventually become a doctor or start his own health technology business. But before walking across the stage — and beginning a summer internship with the National Institute of Health — Herman had one last, important stop on his HCC journey: serving as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Commencement Ceremony.  

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