"Life in Sudan was good," Kenyi remembers. "I was with my family all the time, until the war and then all the time we were hiding and running from one village to the other just trying to survive. When it's a war situation, you don't think of anybody. You just run for your life."
She eventually took refuge in Kenya, where she met Sister Luise Radlemeier, who helped her get an education and later aided in her resettlement in America. Because her mother had never received an education, Kenyi strongly believed it would make her own life better.
"I feel like education is so important because in South Sudan people, mostly men, think that a woman's place is in the kitchen or to give birth," she says. "I want to prove to them that's not right. A women can do exactly what a man can do, and sometimes more. So education is the key for me to fight all the problems in South Sudan -- poverty, corruption, all types of things."
In 2000, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened this country's borders to the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, Kenyi took the opportunity to come to America. Unfortunately, the day of her last interview was September 11, 2001, and Kenyi was sent home to wait. She finally relocated to Aurora, Colorado in 2003.
She worked part-time at Target and then was accepted at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received bachelor degrees in political science and gender studies and eventually a master's degree in educational foundation policy and practice.Keep reading for more about Micklina Kenyi.