Langley Pembleton '21 October 16, 2020 11:38 AM updated: November 9, 2020 5:54 PM
Texas A&M is home, even when your hometown is 9,000 miles away. John Kalyondo ’20 moved to the United States from Lusaka, Zambia, in 2014 to pursue an American education.
Passionate about learning, John has an associate’s in computer science and engineering sciences, is finishing up his bachelor’s in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M, and hopes to gain his MBA at Mays Business School after graduating in December.
As an international transfer student, John’s transition to Aggieland was difficult at first. “Picture this — a guy who comes all the way from Africa, has only been in America for two years, and now is moving from up north in Connecticut to Texas,” said John.
But John is proof that it’s never long before A&M becomes home, and the Aggie Network becomes family. John found his place on campus among his class of petroleum engineering students, many of whom are also transfer students like him.
“When you come to A&M, you become part of something bigger than yourself,” John said. “You become a part of a family that wants and accepts you for who you are, not what you will be.”
John saw this aspect of the Aggie Spirit come to life when he found himself in a time of need, after losing his job this past summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Association of Former Students stepped in and covered the cost of John’s rent for two months.
“This gift has given me more than any money amount could measure,” said John. Not only did The Association provide monetary support, but helped him find a new job, and ultimately renewed his hope in accomplishing his goal of graduating from Texas A&M.
“The Aggie Network is an integrated family of people from different walks of life, different economic statuses, even different cultures and tribes,” said John. “Being an Aggie means you have integrity, it means you're compassionate, it means you’re a leader.”
Thanks to the Aggie Network, The Association is able to continue providing support to students like John — students who need assistance in these unprecedented times now more than ever.
Donors to The Association make student support such as this possible. Thank you for your support. To give back to Texas A&M and help support Texas Aggies in Aggieland and around the world, visit tx.ag/Give.