God bless you all - Rusea’s student reaches tuition goal after ‘STAR’ story
In one week, Raheem Graham, the outgoing head boy of Rusea's High School, raised more than $US3,400 on his GoFundMe account for his tertiary studies overseas.
Graham needed to accumulate US$6,500 for his first semester and was only asking for help to raise half of that. But after his story was published in THE STAR, the figure quickly passed his goal.
Raheem was accepted to read for a degree in human biology at Bethany Lutheran College in Minnesota, USA. He was offered a 'partial merit scholarship', which covers US$23,530 of the $36,530 needed. With his GoFundMe target met, he is all set.
"I cannot repay you for your support, but I can say thank you. To all the persons who made donations to this cause or who simply shared the link around the different media platforms, your response is very noble. My family and I are very grateful for your kindness. I will always remember the host of kind individuals who helped me to write the beginning sentences of this chapter of my story," Graham told THE WEEKEND STAR. "No doubt, your support will propel me to work even harder, knowing that since much has been given to me, much is equally expected. God bless you all."
Raheem says his effort was given a big boost after his story was published.
"To THE STAR, I am sincerely thankful for your help in publicising the campaign. Before I got in contact with them, the campaign was at a full stop, but after they had published it, the support that came afterwards was unreal and I am really grateful for their help in this," he said. Rhena Graham, Raheem's mother, is just as elated.
"I'm feeling pretty happy and thankful that we have reached the target and I am really grateful for everybody's help. I want to say a big thank you to everyone that donated or reached out to give us their kind words. You helped and I wish God's richest blessings upon them," she said.
Raheem has eight Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects and four unit one Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects under his belt. He is currently pursuing four unit two CAPE subjects.
"In the world we are living in, almost every day, we hear the rhetoric 'I have to live for myself because no one will help me', or 'you have to look out for yourself only'. This kind of message has almost metastasised to be reality because of the media. However, I have since proven again, that this is false reality," said Raheem.