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Student of the Month

January Student of the Month: Lindeni Mahlaba

What is your background?: My family lives in a small-town ship area called Hammarsdale which is in South Africa. My family members include my mom, my elder sister, my two nephews and my son. What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: I am the recipient of the Community College Initiative (CCI) scholarship and am pleased to have been selected to attend Kirkwood Community College.

What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am studying Agriculture, specifically swine production. During the fall semester, I volunteered at the Kirkwood Vineyard and Winery and the Swine Center. I enjoy having the opportunity to learn new trends in agriculture and seeing the impact this has on our everyday lives.

Are you involved in anything else on campus? If so, what and why?: I am a member of the Ag Business Club which I really enjoy because I’ve been able to meet new people and make new friends. I’ve also learned about new Ag technologies and how these are used in the business world.

Are you involved in anything off of campus?: I have volunteered over 100 hours since arriving in July. This have helped me get acquainted with the community and learn more about the American culture. Through volunteering, I’ve learned that Americans are very caring people and willing to help those in need. It truly comes from their heart.

What do you do for fun?: I enjoy watching movies, listening to music, meeting new people and spending time with my mentor family.

Do you have any plans after the CCI program?: The CCI program offers many opportunities and one is the development of an Action Plan to implement when I complete the program and return home in May. The high school in my community is in need of many repairs. My action plan is to help with the renovation of the school by utilizing community volunteers and local businesses to keep the school open. It is a valuable asset in my community providing education opportunities to many youth. Repairing floors and replacing blackboards are the first priorities. I have started the plan by contacting school officials, businesses and the city government. Parents and community members are also interested in volunteering with the repairs.

Where do you see yourself in five years?: Personally, in five years, I would like to own a farm where undergraduates can complete internships and advance their skills. I plan to become a beekeeper, sharing my knowledge of honey production and beeswax products. I would also like to incorporate aquaponics on my farm.