For sisters Tumaini Mungohe and Yozofina Nzeyimana, Friday is a special day. They will be graduating from William Fleming High School. But their journey to graduation was much tougher and longer than most.
Mungohe and Nzeyimana were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but spent most of their lives as refugees. Forced to flee to Burundi and then Tanzania, they lived in a refugee camp without access to an expensive education or even clean drinking water.
So a move to America was desired, but feared. In 2008, they left for a new place, Roanoke, Virginia, with new challenges, but also new opportunities. And the sisters capitalized on the opportunities, but they still needed time to adjust, "I started here in 2008 in February. I spoke no English, and it was hard for me to understand and speak, Nzeyimana said.
Fast forward to Friday, and these sisters are not only graduating high school, but both will be graduating with honors, "They never gave up, I knew they would never give up. There are such language barriers that make it almost impossible, so for them to make it is beating the odds more than I can even explain," teacher Corey Allder told News7.
The sisters say they are the first people in their entire family tree to receive any education, and both were emotional during several parts of our interview.
In the fall, both girls will be studying nursing at Virginia Western Community College. Nursing is a profession where people help each other, a fitting course of study for two girls who been there for each other their whole lives.