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'I want to be a pediatrician': Scholarship fund started to help refugee students

Des Moines Refugee Support group is creating a scholarship fund to help refugee students better their lives and post-secondary careers.

DES MOINES, Iowa — This Giving Tuesday, Des Moines Refugee Support group launched a college fund to help refugee high schoolers who will be graduating in the upcoming years.

Erin Bell, a volunteer with the organization, said the fund is a way to help better the students' lives. 

She noted it is meant to provide extra money on top of whatever grants or scholarships the refugees students are eligible for.  

"We don't want money to stand in the way of them achieving their dreams, and breaking the cycle of poverty and going to college, if that's the path they choose," Bell said. 

19-year-old Regina Wasokye is a junior in high school and a refugee from Tanzania, who moved to the U.S. with her family three years ago.

"I like kids, kids are like the best thing to me," she said.

With her time in high school coming to an end, she is already looking towards her future. 

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"I want to be a pediatrician," Wasokye said.

In order to achieve her dream, attending college is a must, but her one concern is money.

"I live with my mom and she doesn't have [a high] paying job … and it's like without the scholarships, funds and donating and everything like that I don't know," Wasokye said. "I don't know if I have anything to start with college."

The Des Moines Refugee Support scholarship fund will go to help students like Wasokye to show them anything in life is possible. 

Bell noted people can donate to the fund all year long, not just on Giving Tuesday.

She also said they plan to continue raising funds for the years to come, to help any students who come through their organization.

A link to the fund is here.

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