Heman's American Dream
This is Heman, a 2013 Digital Harbor High School College Scholarship recipient, born in a refugee camp in Nepal where he lived for 13 years. His parents had been forced to leave Bhutan for a Nepal refugee camp in 1992 when ethnic cleansing in the South Asian country made it unsafe for them to stay. His family saw an opportunity to begin a new life for themselves—but especially for their children—in the United States. They were able to move to the U.S. in September 2008. The American Dream “I really relate to the expression 'It does not matter where you start, but what matters is where you will end,” Heman said. “I never thought I would have friends from different countries, speak English, live in the United States, and have an opportunity to attend college in America. My family faced many challenges both in Nepal and the United States. Both of my parents as well as myself had to work hard just to put food on the table. My teachers helped and encouraged me to work hard and to take more advanced courses.” Heman graduated from his first-choice university, Loyola Maryland in 2017.
“I wanted to go, but we just didn't have the money,” he said.“I was able to get some scholarships but they were still not enough. Fortunately, the DHHS Alliance's Digital Harbor College Scholarship made it happen. That scholarship filled in the gap that I needed.” The Challenges of Being a Role Model Heman wasn't just the first member of his family to attend college. He was the first Nepali-Bhutanese refugee from Baltimore to attend a four-year university, so he has a whole community celebrating his success. But being the first in your community to go to college comes with many challenges. Students like Heman need mentorship, case-management and advice from individuals they trust enough to be honest with. “The Alliance even helped me all the way through college,” Heman said. “Any time I had a question or just needed to talk, there was someone to ask. Scholarships gave me the education, the experiences and the skills I needed. I am on my way to the life I had always hoped and dreamed for! I was lucky to get help from a lot of people. And everyone is so proud of me.”
Donations and Digiball ticket sales support scholars like Heman through the Digital Harbor Community Scholarship Fund–a component of Central Scholarship and a 501(c)3 non-profit organization fund for graduating seniors from Digital Harbor High School.