Student from Kenya Finds Home at COTC

NEWARK, Ohio, March 10, 2016 – Simon Magabe says Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) feels like home, even though he's nearly 8,000 miles from the place where he grew up. Magabe moved to Ohio from Kenya a couple of years ago to be with his now-wife. After being here a few months, Magabe decided he wanted to go to school.

"I love school. When I came over here, I told my wife I wanted to go back to school," says Magabe.

Magabe is an information technology major at COTC. He says there are a few things about Ohio that he could do without, like snow. However, for the most part he loves living in central Ohio and taking classes on campus.

"I don't like the cold. I love the weather in the fall," says Magabe. "It's not hot or cold. The leaves falling down are so fun to watch."

Magabe says everyone has been very supportive of him at COTC. One difficulty he has overcome with the help of his professors is the language barrier. English is Magabe's third language. He speaks Swahili, Kuria and English.

"I love my professors. They have been so awesome to me," said Magabe. "They encourage me and show me different things. I love web design and software development."

"Simon is in my Technical Writing class and is just possibly the most positive student I have ever known," says COTC Instructor Gale Williams. "My class recently gave their first PowerPoint presentations, and not only was his presentation excellent in that it revealed his passion and intelligence and competency in his field, his PowerPoint was absolutely beautiful."

Magabe hopes to graduate in December of 2017.  He says he misses his family in Kenya, but knows that this is where he is supposed to be.

"I come from a family of eight siblings. I miss my family in Kenya," says Magabe. "However, America has so much to offer with its medical facilities and infrastructure. The technology is more advanced here. At colleges and universities in Kenya, you would take a test today and wait two months to find out the results. They do everything manually. I love my new home at Central Ohio Technical College."

Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.