McBonn B. Njankenji, a sophomore in Dunwoody’s Construction Management program, wasn’t always planning on going to college for construction—let alone college in the United States.
Born in Bamenda, Cameroon, growing up Njankenji and his family did not have much in terms of money; his mother never finished high school and his father didn’t attend college.
Things changed, however, when Njankenji turned 10, and he and his family decided to move to the United States in search of a better life and a better future. But, because of their history of financial difficulties, Njankenji said he felt pressure to pursue ambitious, high-paying careers.
“I was trapped in a world where my mother wanted me to be a doctor and my father wanting me to be an engineer,” he said.
Njankenji explained he tried pursuing both careers, but quickly found he didn’t enjoy or excel at either one. What he did find enjoyment in, however, was construction—a career path his father had also followed.
Finding his passion
“I fell in love with it,” Njankenji recalled. “I would ride with my father to job sites, and I loved seeing the smiles on the owners’ faces after a job was completed.”
Njankenji knew he wanted to be a project manager, but when it came time to finding the right college, he said he was surprised by how few schools offered a comprehensive Construction Management program.
“There weren’t a lot of schools that focused on Construction Management like Dunwoody,” he said. “I remember going online [to the Dunwoody website] with my father and seeing classes like estimating, drafting, and all sorts of courses that broadly exposed anyone new to the construction field.”
It was Dunwoody’s in-depth, hands-on approach to education that sealed the deal for Njankenji and his family. So, despite living in Maryland at the time, Njankenji chose to move to Minnesota and enroll at Dunwoody College of Technology.
Hard work pays off
Njankenji has since found much success at the College. He worked as a Field Engineer Intern for PCL Construction last summer and has received several scholarships along the way.
Most recently, he received the 2016 Foundation Scholarship, an award given annually by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, which helps students pursuing a Residential Construction education in the Twin Cities with their tuition costs.
Njankenji said it’s scholarships like these that help make his dream of attending college a reality.
“I don’t regret this move,” he said. “I moved all the way from Maryland to get the most out of my education, and Dunwoody has helped with that. I am honored to be granted this scholarship and am glad I have organizations like BATC to support me every step of the way.
“Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to let me shine.”
For more information on scholarships available to Dunwoody students, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.