Livingstone College

Graduate Highlight: Victor Nayituriki

Victor Nayituriki is a person who aims to find windows of opportunities, for in his past, it was a matter of life and death. This 2017 Livingstone College summa cum laude graduate is a survivor.  A native of Kigali, Rwanda, Victor recollects on his experience as an eleven year old child in a humanitarian crisis. A witness of explosive violence and brutality of what is noted to natives as the genocide of Tutsis, and to the world as the Rwandan Genocide, he explains, “When the soldiers came back to our house to take my family, I ran in the back of our neighbor’s apartment, climbed in the window and stayed there for three days alone without food or light.”
Since this time, he has continued to seek windows of opportunity. Victor applied for the Diversity Visa Program, an annual US government initiative that awards 50, 000 green cards to persons from all over the world, frequently referred to as the Green Card Lottery. In 2010, Victor was selected in this process and traveled to the US where he resided in Pennsylvania and then moved to Portland, Maine. Victor acknowledges, “I was a part of God’s plan the entire time,” as divinely in 2010, Eugenie Mukeshimana, a genocide survivor who has dedicated her life to helping others, established Genocide Survivors Support Network (GSSN), a charitable organization with a mission to aid genocide survivors in rebuilding their lives and an effort to educate communities about the crime of genocide. Pursuing her mission, Mukeshimana was a speaker at Livingstone College where she informed the college’s president, Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., of how he could best assist her program and President Jenkins committed to giving a scholarship to a genocide survivor. Thus, with the assistance of many including Mayor Karen Alexander and Racelle Weiman, Victor began his matriculation at Livingstone College as a Presidential Scholar in August 2013.
As a native French speaker, Victor wasn’t too sure of his success as a college student considering his command over the English language; however, Victor knew his transition to Livingstone College, was a window.  He believed, “Do the best you can and God will do the rest.”
As a student at Livingstone, Victor excelled in several capacities. Majoring in Computer Information Systems (CIS), this 3.8 grade-point-average graduate, engaged in several regional and national competitions. Under the leadership of International Affairs Director Earl Brown, Victor along with several cohorts to include his good friend Mulbah Gray of Liberia, represented the countries of Rwanda and Liberia in a Model United Nations competition in Raleigh, North Carolina. There Victor and his team submitted a proposal to competitors whereas he was granted permission to answer questions in French. As a senior, Victor engaged in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama with CIS instructor Damein Greatheart and under the instructions of professor Obafemi Balogun and communications project manager Justin Walker, he participated in a class internship with Livingstone College’s Division of Communications and Public Relations, developing the LC Connect App to launch in August 2017.
One of Victor’s greatest experience at Livingstone is when he was a mentor to incoming freshman in the summer Bridge STEM Program. He said, “Working with students as a mentor was absolutely rewarding. It didn’t feel like a job because we enjoyed other through a holistic concept.  Our lessons covered in-class and out-of-class experiences, all to enhance the incoming freshmen’s first-year success.”
Victor aspires to become a software developer and wants the world to know he is a Christian who is living today because of God’s grace and a miraculous window. He affirms, “God is a way maker,” and wants to especially thank President Jenkins, Karen Alexander, Racelle Weiman, Eugenie Mukeshimana, Liliane Ntabana, Shelly Hill Crawford, Dan Crawford, Betty Grace and Tom Wolpert for allowing God’s love to shine through their windows.

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