Hometown: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Education in the DRC: Peguy commenced studies in the DRC, intending to become a doctor.
Reason for Leaving: Education.
Arrival in the United States: Peguy arrived in the United States on April 7, 2016 via the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. He emigrated, leaving his mother and sister behind in the DRC.
Languages: French, Lingala, Kikongo and English
Job(s) in Vermont: Peguy works full-time at the University of Vermont (UVM). He works a second job in food service. His typical work week is 64 hours.
Ambition: “I now dream to study business management and have my own business and an association to help people back home…to help orphans, to help widows, to help kids go to college. I’d like to help wherever people need help. Medicine is my old dream. I have a language barrier. It costs a lot of money here (in the U.S.). It takes a long time. I wish I was born here. Maybe medicine will be a dream for one of my children someday.”
Education in Vermont: Peguy started English Language Learning (ELL) classes at VAL in 2016, mostly in the evenings, after work. He advanced to our High School Completion Program, and is, now, taking a computer science class at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) via Dual Enrollment. He will be awarded his high school diploma in June 2020. Peguy plans to continue his studies at UVM, while retaining his job there.
Something he misses about home: Fumbwa is a Congolese Wild Spinach Stew in which green leafy vegetables are boiled down with onions, tomatoes, garlic, palm oil, peanuts and seasonings.
Happy Memory from home: “Friends. We have a different culture. African culture is so different. We are more social. Personally, I’m very funny and I would tell stories and make my friends laugh.”
A challenge overcome since coming to the United States: “My challenge is to get my degree. Every day I dream to get my degree. I won’t go back home to my country until I get my degree.”
Something he appreciates about Vermont Adult Learning: “The staff at Vermont Adult Learning was there to help with my final project (research paper), my homework from CCV and they were pushing me to look forward.”
Proverb from DRC: No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.
About the Democratic Republic of Congo: The DRC is located on the western coast of central Africa and borders Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola and the Central African Republic. The DRC, rich in natural resources (diamonds, gold, copper, timber, oil, etc.) has a population of 5.3 million people. The DRC gained its independence from Belgium in 1960 and, sadly, has experienced significant political upheaval and civil strife. Sony Lab-ou Tansi (1947-1995) was a prolific Congolese playwright, novelist and poet who won the Grand Prix Liitteraire d’Afrique Noire.
Peguy will serve as graduation speaker at the VAL-Chittenden Class of 2020 Commencement. A date will be set when it is safe to gather.