A former refugee and prisoner, Vandalark Patricks has overcome his childhood adversity after he graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Patricks was among a host of graduates who bagged a master’s degree in Public Administration from the institution.
It was the first time the school hosted her in-person graduation ceremony for the first time since 2019.
The Liberian human rights activist excitedly shared the news on his LinkedIn page where he expressed gratitude for his journey.
Patrick said he was “Born and raised in poverty,” with his “late father earning less than $100 a month as a career rubber tapper at Firestone-Liberia.
In a separate post on his Facebook page, Patricks narrated how as a little boy he used to help his poor dad tap rubber trees barefooted.
On his LinkedIn page, he recalled surviving “bullets as a child to flee through the thick bushes into Guinea during the bloody crisis in Liberia”.
As a refugee, Patrick said he endured the most excruciating pain and was only grateful to God for His protection and mercy.
Patrick who said he has spent his whole life defending human rights, lamented how the “only price we pay as activists for speaking out against injustice and protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in the society is severe torture, judicial harassment, and wrongful imprisonment by anti-democratic elements to keep us silent.”
The activist also appreciated the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for providing him the scholarship he needed to change the narratives of his complicated last.
In his struggle against oppression in Liberia, Patrick was reportedly arrested on February 23, 2016, by armed police officers and detained on charges of criminal libel and sedition.
He was held at Monrovia Central Prison until March 1, 2016.
He was allegedly injected with an unknown substance, which impacted his health.
He was however released on June 1, 2016, with charges of criminal libel and sedition against him dismissed.
In another report, a Nigerian tech entrepreneur, Kingsley Ezeani, has again done the country proud by graduating from Harvard University with a master’s degree in Public Administration.
The young tech enthusiast who got accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship shared the news on his LinkedIn page.
Passionately stating what it means to him, he said, “I graduated from Harvard against all odds! I was the first in my family to study outside Nigeria and I got accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship!”
Meanwhile, there’s pleasant news for Nigerian students looking to study in Canada after the University of Alberta excluded Nigeria from the list of countries whose graduate students are mandated to present proof of English before admission.
This means that prospective Nigerian students (irrespective of the school graduated from within Nigeria) applying to study at U of A or UAlberta, as it is also known, would no longer be required to present an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) & other English tests before admission.
This exciting feat was achieved courtesy of a mail by a Nigerian postdoctoral research fellow in Canada, Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi.