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Prepared to embrace a bright future

Gifts to the Empower Extraordinary campaign are opening doors for students and faculty to solve big-picture problems.

Nadege Sesonga and her mentor, Linda Naugle

Prepared to embrace a bright future

During the Rwandan genocide, nursing student Nadege Sesonga (’17) became paralyzed from having been carried on her mother’s back for months. She recovered fully through therapy, and her family was eventually reunited.

Today, Nadege’s dream is to become a psychologist to help the many people of Rwanda who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She came to MSU thanks to a scholarship from The MasterCard Foundation and the encouragement of alumna Linda Naugle, a former UNICEF director then working in Africa, who helped Nadege complete her MSU application.

As a student, Nadege was able to pursue an internship with the Human Development Initiative (HDI) in Rwanda, where she worked to promote health in rural areas. Using a rights-based approach, HDI promotes sustainable, community-based interventions, such as disease prevention, health training, and capacity building at both the individual and institutional levels.

Nadege plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and she credits her internship and other hands-on experiences at MSU for helping her to find her path.

“I want to promote health, especially in the rural areas, and I want to focus on the youth. I believe the knowledge I have learned at MSU, and the skills I have gained through my internship and my passion, will help me through the process,” she says.

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