Beatrice M. Faida


  • High School: Henninger, class of 2015
  • Major: General Studies

Beatrice remembers coming to the United States like it happened yesterday. She was born and raised in a refugee camp in Tanzania. “The environment there forced you to grow up so quickly you missed your childhood,” she recalled. In 2007 Beatrice arrived in the United States along with her parents and seven siblings. She was 12 and didn’t know English. “Have you ever tasted food you’ve never had before and you’re really anxious about how your stomach is going to handle it? It was like that coming to a world where you don’t speak the language. The environment, people and culture are all different.”

Over the course of several years Beatrice and her family adjusted. She attended Syracuse City Schools, graduated from Henninger High School and came to OCC. The College was exactly what she needed. “I grew so much coming here. I grew in so many ways I didn’t even realize. I learned so much from the people that I met, the people I communicated with, the President, the Provost, the students, the professors. There are so many people here who supported me in so many ways.”

Beatrice is a full-time student who works three jobs. In May, at the age of 22 she will become the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She plans to continue her education and become either a lawyer or psychiatrist. Whichever she chooses she is committed to a lifetime of learning. “Too many people focus on what is bad about life when they should be focused on what is good about life. The moment you are born life is like an empty box. What you put in the box is what you learn as you grow up.”

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