As Abraham Kisule prepares to graduate from Lorain County Community College, he enjoys looking back on how far he’s come.

Abraham, 23, was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda. He will earn an associate’s degree in clinical laboratory science from LCCC.

“My dream as a child was to live in the U.S. someday but at the time, all the odds were against me,” Abraham recalled. “I didn’t see how it would be possible for me to travel internationally.”

That all changed, however, the year after Abraham graduated from high school when his aunt invited him to come to North Ridgeville to help care for her children.

“In 2008, my auntie told me about Lorain County Community College. She asked me to see if the school had any Allied Health courses that were of interest to me,” Abraham said.

He then spent two weeks pouring over the course catalog and learning about LCCC and the University Partnership. Abraham decided to study the medical field and set up a meeting with LCCC’s Director of International Student Services David Arredondo, who helped Abraham file the proper paperwork.

“I enrolled at LCCC in the spring of 2009 and that marked the beginning of my road to success,” Abraham said.
For his first year at LCCC, Abraham lived with his aunt in North Ridgeville. He now lives in Sheffield Lake.

Attending college thousands of miles from his home was challenging but Abraham was determined to make a new home for himself in Lorain County.

“Not only was I dealing with homesickness knowing that I wasn`t going to see my family in a long time but I was also learning to live on my own in a totally new environment. It’s like I was starting my life all over again,” he said.

In addition to acquainting himself with American culture, Abraham also had a unique language barrier to overcome.

“I was taught British English while in Uganda and when I used some of the words in my English papers, they would be marked wrong for grammar or spelling, for example, color and colour as used by the British,” he said. “I had to work very closely with my English teachers to help me overcome this.”

Dealing with Northeast Ohio winters was also new experience for Abraham, who had never seen snow until he arrived in Lorain County.

“I am still not used to the cold, but I can bear it for a few months,” he said.

Despite the challenges he faced, Abraham excelled in his studies and made friendships across campus. He works part-time in LCCC Dining Services. Through his clinical laboratory science program, he gained a part-time job at St. John Westshore Hospital, where he works as a laboratory technician.

Following graduation, Abraham plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Applied Health from Youngstown University through LCCC’s University Partnership. He would eventually like to graduate medical school, become a pathologist and “take medical help to my people in Africa.”