COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A former West African refugee is graduating from Columbus State University this week, but is not forgetting about the country he began his journey to this moment in.
Nearly 20 years ago, Paul Yarwaye fled Liberia as a refugee and after graduating with his second degree from CSU, he has one goal in mind: bring clean water to his home country.
“It would be a great relief for people in Liberia,” said Yarwaye. “I want to go back and purify water so they can have clean water to drink and to grow crops.”
Yarwaye moved to Columbus in 2005 after spending six years in Ghana waiting to be resettled as a Liberian refugee. He became a U.S. citizen in 2011 and enrolled in CSU in 2013.
In 2016, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science. Now, just three years later, he will be graduating with a master’s in public administration.
“In my first degree, I learned the science behind clean water. Then my graduate studies helped me to have the leadership ability to be able to lead a group of people and have management skills,” said Yarwaye. “I’m so grateful. America opened a door, and I walked through it. I’m so grateful to the United States government, God, and the CSU family for working with me for all their efforts and all of their support.”
Yarwaye’s goal is to use his newfound knowledge to create a non-profit the will bring clean drinking water to Liberia.