College readiness academy

Gnande's Story

Gnande arrived to Minnesota with his family four years ago. In Ivory Coast, he worked as a medical doctor, and knew he wanted to continue working in radiology here in the United States.

“The most important thing for me is to help my kids go to college. The other thing is my career. I had to stop my career as a radiologist, but I would like to achieve it.”

Understanding the system

While working as a nursing assistant, Gnande took part in College Readiness Academy at the Institute. His navigator helped him understand the complex education system and formulate a plan.

“[CRA] helped me to understand the whole system. How to do the Accuplacer, how to start the application, understanding what is a major, what is a minor. 

For me the problem with college is not the concepts. It’s how to better understand the university system. With this program, I understood what I had to do. And that’s why I decided right away to do radiology technology program, because right away I understood.”




Setting an example

Now Gnande finished his generals and has been accepted into the Radiology Technology program at Century College. He knows that his five children are paying attention. "They watch a lot. I don’t have to tell them to go to college, they keep it in their mind. [CRA] has helped me, and it's helped my kids too."

Gnande hopes that his children go to college to be educated and have a better life, but also hopes they learn to be open minded. "If you are closed minded, you lose a lot."




Looking forward

For New Americans like Gnande, College Readiness Academy makes the complex university system accessible. "We use [CRA] to understand all the requirements and try to go far." 



We could tell 4319 stories.

Every New American who walks through our doors has a powerful story. We wish we could introduce you to everyone. Since we can't tell 4319 client stories, here are six that perfectly represent our mission.




"As a nursing assistant, I gained the experience I needed to make me a better nurse."

Read Nour's story >


"I feel 100% safe, and for the first time ever I feel I am at home."

Read Suleiman's story >


"People have heard about [DACA] but they don’t know the facts."

Read Mariana's Story >



"My dad just got here two months ago. We’d been apart 3 years. I don’t know how to explain, we were all very happy and excited."

Read Raouf's story >



Over 50,000 people came together to celebrate diversity in Minnesota at the 2017 Festival of Nations.

Read Jeannine's story >



Some people have asked whether we’re concerned about our future. We answer with a resounding “no.”

Read Jane's Story >