Consider walking a mile, or make that 6,314 miles, in Emmanuel Kate’s (in French the last name is pronounced Ka-tay] shoes. That is the estimated distance from Kate’s boyhood home in Togo, West Africa, to Omaha, Nebraska.
His father who was already working in the United States as a driving instructor brought Kate to Omaha in 2008, when he was 8 years old. He enrolled in Omaha Public Schools in fourth grade at Sunny Slope Elementary, where through the benefit of the ESL (English as Second Language) program, television and conversations with classmates, he mastered the English language in one year. Nine years later, Kate has graduated from Omaha Burke High School and is now enrolled at Metropolitan Community College. The Avenue Scholars Foundation program has enabled Kate to now focus on becoming part of Omaha’s work force.
“Without Avenue Scholars, I would be stressing more about food, classes, and tuition”
“They have made me think more about my decisions, where I want to go career-wise,” Kate said. Scholarships and the support of career coaches have helped Kate feel comfortable and confident about college.
“Without Avenue Scholars, I would be stressing more about food, classes, and tuition,” he said.
At MCC, he is on track to earn an Associate’s Degree in Business Management. After MCC, Kate plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in business at UNO. However, he is also interested in obtaining a teaching certificate — to teach anything from business, to English, or music — and a coaching license to coach soccer at the high school level.
Omaha is a long way from Togo, but Kate is happy to be here, walking in his own shoes on a path to a successful career.