Ezekiel is a true testament to the transformational power of education and philanthropy.
Born in Burundi, as a three-year-old Ezekiel was forced to leave behind most of his family as he fled the civil war outbreak, living in a Tanzanian refugee camp until 2009, when he was welcomed into Australia.
He studied hard, with the aspiration of becoming an engineer.
“Growing up in a refugee camp, I saw a lot of people die due to the lack of infrastructure, and I wanted to help find solutions,” Ezekiel said.
“That’s why I was interested in engineering.”
Ezekiel was accepted into the Bachelor of Engineering at QUT, but the financial burden of studying was yet another hurdle.
He applied for support from the QUT Learning Potential Fund upon entry to university and was thrilled to learn he would be offered a scholarship to help him make the most of his opportunity. With the help of this scholarship, Ezekiel has now graduated and begun his career as a Graduate Civil Engineer at Wagstaff Piling.
“My time at QUT allowed me to gain knowledge and skills that civil engineers must have when practicing in the real world,” Ezekiel said.
Already, his role has taken him across Australia in both rural and urban areas.
“I love going on site to test what we have designed and constructed – I can see how my ideas are becoming a reality.”
While Ezekiel made it to Australia, he still has family in Burundi. After his graduation, he returned to his home village in Burundi to see his family for the first time since he fled the country.
“I didn’t know they had survived until after I had been living in Australia for a year or so,” Ezekiel said.
The reunion was very emotional, and reinforced to Ezekiel just how lucky he is.
“I am so proud to be able to return and share all I have been able to achieve with my family.”
“Looking back on where I came from and where I am now, I am reminded that there are millions of people who want to be in my position. I am so grateful to be in Australia and to have these opportunities.”
Ezekiel credits the generosity of Learning Potential Fund donors with allowing him to achieve his ambition of becoming a graduate engineer.
Ezekiel volunteering to promote LPF with fellow LPF Ambassadors Tamara and Tahlia.
“QUT and the Learning Potential Fund helped me become a man I am today," said Ezekiel.
"There is no way that I will forget the university. I will try my best to stay connected and give back.”
The Learning Potential Fund is a perpetual endowment which provides scholarships to students facing financial disadvantage. All donations to the Fund are matched by QUT dollar-for-dollar. For more information, please visit the Learning Potential Fund website.