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Convert Plans to Return to Tanzania with Education and Experience

June 2008

Leonard

Few people travel across hemispheres to gain an education so they can return home to make a difference in an emerging economy. But that’s exactly what Leonard Kalimasi is doing. Leaving Tanzania on the east coast of Africa in 2004, Leonard came to BYU-Idaho to start his college education.

“The spiritual environment this school provides motivated me to come,” said Leonard. “I have grown spiritually in my student ward through programs like family home evening, regular church and temple attendance, magnifying my callings, devotionals, and also being surrounded by faithful Church members. The Church has fewer than 1,500 members in Tanzania. There is no temple, stake, or Church mission there, either.”

Leonard was 20 years old when his high school friend started investigating the Church. He invited Leonard to play soccer on the Church grounds after institute class and introduced him to the missionaries. Leonard was baptized. He later met his future wife and introduced her to the Church as well. She joined the Church and moved with Leonard to the United States to begin their educational journey.

“The opportunity to be a student at BYU-Idaho takes my academic learning to a higher level than I could have at home,” said Leonard. “President Hinckley has admonished us to get the best education possible, so following my graduation in 2008 with a degree in information technology, I want to get an MBA.” After working in the United States for a period of time to gain practical experience, Leonard plans to return to Tanzania and work in business management, finance, or information technology.

“My grant has been one of the greatest blessings I have ever received from my Heavenly Father,” said Leonard. “It has enabled me and my family to handle the expenses that come with attending this university. I cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough for the generosity of the donors that made this financial assistance possible.”

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