A Message From Our President – Introducing Huron’s New Ambassador For Refugees
I am honored to introduce third-year student and emerging global leader Nhial Deng as Huron’s Ambassador for Refugees.
Nhial understands the significant challenges and life-long impacts presented by war. At age 11, Nhial’s family fled a conflict in their home village in Ethiopia. He was forced to leave his father and never got a chance to say goodbye to his mother and younger siblings. Later in life, he made it his mission to create a better future for himself and other global youth through education.
Feeling humbled and grateful, Nhial sees this appointment as a significant step forward for Huron and fellow refugee students.
Huron has been actively engaged in expanding opportunities for refugee students over the last few years. This marks a significant step in the university's journey toward becoming a global leader in advancing education opportunities for young people from vulnerable and marginalized backgrounds.
He is a passionate storyteller, using his talents and education to be a voice for other refugees facing similar challenges with a goal to empower them as they look to have a fresh start in safer communities.
Nhial joined the Huron community in 2021. Now in his third year of studies, Nhial continues his advocacy work across the globe to raise awareness about the importance of education for refugees. His community work and advocacy efforts focus on refugees, youth leadership, gender equality, peacebuilding, and climate change. He leads two initiatives, the Refugee Youth Peace Ambassadors and SheLeads Kakuma, both run by refugee youth in Kakuma, Kenya. Nhial has been invited to speak at various events to shed light on the lack of opportunities for refugee youth.
In recognition of his community work and advocacy efforts, Nhial has received numerous accolades, including the FilmAid 2021 Student Award, the World Vision Hero for Children: Courage Award 2023, and most recently, the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Award. He has also been selected as one of the top 10 students globally to be considered for the prestigious Global Student Prize, a US$100,000 award.
Huron is proud to partner with Nhial to support his passion and vision. A true leader with heart, Nhial inspires us all to use our talents, voices, and resources to bring about change in our world.
Please join me in congratulating and supporting Nhial in this new role.
Dr. Barry Craig