NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Bronx mother of three is going to have her Ivy League education paid for, all thanks to a new scholarship.

Hawa Antonet Abraham, 37, said when she wants something, she never gives up. That includes her dream of going to college, which is coming true.

Abraham is a second-year student at Hostos Community College and on her way to Columbia University to study community health. It’s been a long road for Abraham to get to this point.

Abraham is a refugee from Sierra Leone in West Africa, where she endured a decade of violence and brutal conflict. She began her nursing studies in Liberia and came to the United States with her family chasing the American Dream. It’s those humble beginnings that now move her to action. She still sees health inequalities every day living in the Bronx.

Due to a scholarship, she is able to attend Columbia University this fall and make a difference.  The full scholarship at Hostos Community College came from a $15 million gift to the college by MacKenzie Scott in 2020. Abraham is one of three recipients who will be given full rides to Columbia University and living costs this year. 

Abraham’s dream is to become an epidemiologist, go back to Sierra Leone and create a foundation to help feed children there in need. She is now one step closer to making it happen.

Dr. Sofia Oviedo, the director of research programs at Hostos Community College, said there are half a dozen programs created to help students. Visit the Hostos Community College website to learn more about its programs.