Published on 14 March 2013
A West African refugee will graduate from the University of the Sunshine Coast in April with a Bachelor of Justice and Legal Studies – and a new lease on life.
Napoleon Kenmon, 23, left war-torn Liberia with his mother and siblings in 2009 and moved to Brisbane, before relocating to the Sunshine Coast to study.
He was grateful to the Australian Government, which granted him a permanent humanitarian visa, to USC for the opportunities and support during his Bachelor of Justice and Legal Studies, and to the local community for welcoming him.
When the former Buderim resident graduates on 5 April, at USC’s first Graduation Ceremony for the year, he will have already started his Bachelor of Laws at Griffith University.
“My aim is to become a police officer or probation officer,” said Napoleon, now living with his family at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.
He said studying at USC had given him the confidence to follow his ambitions.
“When the war started at home I was little, but I always planned to go to university and never had the opportunity,” he said.
“After we arrived in Australia I thought ‘I’ll get educated’. Society was so new and my English wasn’t very good, so I went to TAFE and then applied to uni.
“I chose the Sunshine Coast because I knew I could cope better at a smaller university, with such helpful and friendly professors. The teaching was very good and I had a lot of improvement.”
Napoleon also enjoyed studying in North Dakota in the United States as part of his USC degree, through the University’s Global Opportunities program.
— Julie Schomberg