December 2, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Evergreen Valley College Marketing and Community Relations
From War Zone to Peaceful State: The Fall and Rise of Duramany Morsay
It’s hard to believe that just five years ago Duramany Morsay was hunting for his dinner in the hills of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Morsay had not attended school since the age of eight, and he didn’t know how to read or write English or do his sums. But since coming to America to escape the civil war in Sierra Leone, Morsay has completed a four-year high school term in three years and won a prestigious $4000 Groves Scholarship at Evergreen Valley College, which pays completely for his tuition, fees, books, a laptop and software.
“If I can learn at this pace, anybody can,” Morsay says with a disarming smile, crediting the teachers who stayed late after classes to help him earn his 4.0 grade point average. To learn English, Morsay read everything out loud: newspapers, ads in magazines, billboards, sports scores; everything that crossed his path was fair game. He got so used to speaking aloud that he now actually enjoys public speaking, especially when he’s asked to tell others about his life experience.
Morsay works as hard at his studies at Evergreen Valley College as he does at his part-time jobs at Orchard Supply Hardware and UPS. Having lost both his parents before coming to America, Morsay feels fortunate to have found a home with the family of his high school math teacher.
“Before coming here, I did not even know there was a country called the United States. I lived in a village of 13 people. Now I have seen what is possible, how much you can do in this great country, and I want to do more,” Morsay says. He wants to teach others by example that it is possible to do the impossible.
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ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to empower students to expand their human potential and to succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.