Sophomore, Biochemistry Major

From an orphanage to Hard Work U., Ruth’s story has only just begun.

At the young age of six years old, Ruth’s mother passed away, forcing her and her young brothers to live with their grandparents. Faced with poverty, her grandparents were unable to care for the children and sent them to live at Hope for Orphans Rescue and Education Center (HOREC) in her native country—Kenya.

“Upon graduating from high school, despite having good grades, my hopes of continuing with higher studies were shattered. As a poor girl from an orphanage, without any relatives to rely on, I could not afford to pay for a college education in Kenya or anywhere else.”

Ruth was determined, and through her hard work and God’s grace, she was accepted to College of the Ozarks – and then, she was welcomed into a host family’s home in the United States.

“I am so thankful for my host family and College of the Ozarks. My hope to be a better person and to make other people’s lives better has been restored.”  Ruth dreams of being a scientist and every day she’s one step closer to making that dream a reality.

“I have wonderful professors who walk with me in my educational journey. The work education program has helped me build on my personality as well as learn to be comfortable working around other people.”

Plant seeds of success.



An investment in College of the Ozarks is an investment in students like Ruth.


Ruth’s first workstation placement was the kitchen at The Keeter Center, the College’s fine dining restaurant, lodge and conference facility. Here she washed dishes, made food, and learned how to work as a team with her fellow students.

“Not only did I learn how to make American dishes, but I learned life lessons that I utilize in my everyday life.”

During her second semester, Ruth was recognized as one of the outstanding students at The Keeter Center and now works in the restaurant.

“I have learned I do not have to be perfect at something, but I can excel in it with determination, persistence, humility, and with God’s grace.”

While Ruth has worked incredibly hard, she’s also had a fun “first” while at C of O. “I saw and played in snow for the very first time in my life!”

Ruth plans to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical science upon graduation.