Former HHS study will study in Rwanda


Hillsboro High School’s 2021 valedictorian Haven Young is now a sophomore at The Ohio State University who will be traveling to Africa at the end of this month as part of a three-week program to study the events and aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda during the 1990s.

Young is a recipient of The Ohio State University’s Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship that covers the entire cost of attendance for 176 Ohio students each year. She is pursuing degrees in sociology and political science with a minor in theater.

Sixteen other students and two Ohio State faculty members will make the trip to Africa as part of a program through the university’s sociology department.

“I am incredibly grateful for the financial support that Ohio State has given me,” said Young. “I’ve received three scholarships that cover pretty much all of the trip’s expenses, and I would not be able to go on this journey if it wasn’t for the scholarship opportunities that they offer.”

The group will be traveling to areas throughout Rwanda during the trip. “It’s about the size of Maryland, so it’s pretty easy to travel around, but the main point of focus, where we will be staying, is Kigali, which is the capital,” said Young.

The program will cover the events that occurred before, during and after the genocide in Rwanda. “We’ll hear from both the victims and the perpetrators of the genocide, and the final week is about how Rwanda built itself up from the genocide and how it became a prosperous country, sort of looking at the legal response, the human rights response and the economic development,” said Young.

Young said she is undecided about the specific career path. “I am very interested in sociology and political science, so I definitely want a career in that field, and I’m interested in studying institutional inequalities and protecting human rights, so I am hoping that this trip will give me a clearer answer,” she said. “The director of the program informed me that a lot of students go on this trip and learn a lot about what they want to do when they graduate, so I am hoping that this is an opportunity to explore a potential option.”

Young said she is looking forward to traveling outside of the country for the first time and learning about a part of the world that is lesser known than Western Europe. “I feel like Africa as a continent, as a whole, is very misunderstood and not taught about a lot, so I’m kind of excited to explore the true nature of not only Africa, but Rwanda itself and its culture and its lush nature and complex history for myself because I think hearing their stories is important and is also incredibly beneficial to my education at Ohio State and going forward,” she said.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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