Meet Oszkar Apama’bo Anand ‘25
Where are you from and what is your background?
I come from Arua City in the Westnile sub-region located in North Western Uganda. I graduated in 2011 with a BSc in Industrial Chemistry from Makerere University and worked as a process chemist in the sugar industry from 2011-14. I left the sugar industry and established Cloud-9 Youth Edutainment Centre, which has provided young people in my local community with employment, peer education, entertainment, and cultural promotion of music and dance. From a 5x5 meter abandoned grocery shop in the ghettos of my village, Cloud-9 now employs 10-15 young people full-time, and seats 2,000 people. It's equipped with a stage, bar, club-section, VIP-wing, DJ-box, grocery shop, fast-food joint, three giant screens, PA system, and restrooms. After nine years of youth community service, I am taking my passion for making the world a better place global, where I plan on helping the world fight climate change.
Why did you apply for this graduate program and decide to study at USF?
The MS in Environmental Management program aligned with my career goal of helping the world fight climate change as it offered relevant courses with experienced faculty. USF is in the Bay Area, the leading location for environmental action and innovation in the United States. Great environmental and social movements have started in San Francisco, and gone on to become global movements.
What impacts has the Dean's Scholarship had on your ability to further your studies?
The Dean’s Scholarship started a chain reaction that led to my successful arrival at USF. The scholarship letter helped me receive an MPOWER student loan because they knew they could count on me if the school believes in me to give me a scholarship. The consular officials found it easy to grant me a study visa for the same reason. After my visa was approved the harsh public opinion about my dreams, and what I stood for, completely changed. People started to raise money to pay for my air ticket. It finally clicked in people's minds that I was a force to be reckoned with if USF could offer me the Dean’s Scholarship.
What are your career ambitions?
I aspire to fight climate change by helping the world transition from using non-renewable energy sources to renewable sources. In my local community, I advocated for five water guardians to protect the OSU river from pollution. Previously, this pollution had led to high water treatment costs, that raised water bills, and encouraged the burning of more fossil fuel to handle the load from pollution. I received a certificate of merit from the local council chairman’s office for these volunteer efforts.
What is something unique or interesting about you?
My passion to make a difference in other people's lives is so deep that I am bold enough to make the necessary sacrifices. In my work creating Cloud-9, I have withstood financial difficulty and harsh public opinion that it was a complete waste of my youthful years to be stuck in a village working with youths: "What are these youth going to offer you? Why can't you be like your peers that are building houses, driving, and living their lives?" My attitude has and will always be that there are things bigger than personal glory.
Am I ELIGIBLE?
The Dean’s Scholarship recognizes a select group of incoming students in graduate programs, who the admission committees believe will make a substantial contribution to the programs. Recipients are selected based on merit. To be considered for the Dean's Scholarship, students must apply to their program by the program's priority deadline.