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“The biggest challenge for me was to learn English and fit into a new society with a different culture. I have been in many countries in Africa and we all seemed to practice the same behavior in a given situation. But when I arrived here it was a different world. With time I learned how to interact with Americans, especially my foster parents and my new friends.” Michael was put into foster care at the age of 16, and was able to live with one family until his emancipation at the age of 19. While living with this foster family Michael was able to obtain his Associates Degree in Science, and has since transferred to Western Michigan University. Michael is thankful for the opportunities he was given while in foster care. “In my childhood, I never had the opportunity to be in a family due to the war and the violence that took place in my country. In America, foster care gave me all these opportunities. I am grateful because I never thought that I would have the chance to go to school and live with a family.” He has been actively giving back to the system. Michael participates in his local Youth Leadership Board. He also has been active as a member of the youth advisory board at Bethany Christian Services. Michael likes to watch movies and work out. He also has some coaching experience from serving as the assistant coach to the Creston High School girl’s soccer team, and enjoys playing soccer as well.

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