Living the American dream

I was neither the smartest nor the richest student of Uncle Dissa and Aunty Pri. But I was definitely one of the most courageous. I had already applied to the University of Cincinnati when I first met Uncle Dissa. But it was not possible for me to join UC if they wouldn’t give me their maximum scholarship. Uncle Dissa sent my CV to them the same night I met him and they offered me their maximum scholarship the following morning. He also sent my CV to seven other universities and gave me their offerings too. He did all that in one night and only with a CV.

Joanna Lindamulage (Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Bishops' College) transferred to University of Cincinnati from American National College. Currently a Junior at UC College of Engineering and Applied Sciences majoring in Chemical Engineering, Lindamulage started co-opting in 2010 at a fortune 100 International company in USA (Process Development Engineer ’10 and Production Engineer ’11). On campus, Lindamulage works at UC International Admissions Office helping International students and is a Research Associate and Teaching Assistant for UC College of Engineering. Lindamulage’s ambition is to develop a chemical plant in Sri Lanka upon graduating as a Chemical Engineer with a sound foundation of Chemistry and Business Management. (

My visa application got rejected three times, but Aunty Pri never gave up the battle even when my parents were giving it up. Because of her organized way of presenting documents, I was confident to talk about my financial and academic background to the visa officers and make them realize I’m a bona-fide student. If Aunty Pri and Uncle Dissa treated me purely as a commercial client, I wouldn’t have ever made it to USA. I paid only a 0.001% to them compared to what they did for me and what I earn today.

Uncle Dissa and Aunty Pri knew how much my parents could afford and gave me advice, guidance and support to make my dream come true with what I had. I never saw them doing a business – instead, I saw their true love and desire to make one girl achieve her dream. I’m sure that it is the same they did to their own children as well as to hundreds of others.

Today I’m so proud to say I’m working as a Co-op Chemical Engineer in a leading International American company earning more than $4000 a month. I’m only in my third year in my Bachelor’s degree, yet I support myself including my tuition. I no longer take my parents’ money for anything.

It has been a long way from the day I decided to do my higher studies in USA. There were so many times I was exhausted and wanted to give up. But today I see the results of my sufferings. When I look back, I always see Uncle Dissa and Aunty Pri in the place I started. They were my stepping stone and because of the strong base they gave me, I never collapsed and never will. If there is a secret behind my success, they are it.

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