TWIN FALLS — Narcisse Mubibya fell in love with animals when he was a child living in Uganda and he’s wanted to work with them ever since.
“We couldn’t afford any animals at that time,” he said. “It’s just a dream that I had, and I wanted to realize it and accomplish it one day in my life.”
This fall, Mubibya will attend University of Idaho to study animal and veterinary science with help from the Chobani Scholars program. He’s one of four Magic Valley students to get the University of Idaho scholarship this year. It’s the next step toward his goal of becoming an animal nutritionist.
But it wasn’t always certain that he would make it to college.
Mubibya and his family came to Twin Falls from Uganda in 2016 as refugees. He knew little English and had never attended school before. That steep learning curve caused him to fail all his classes during the first semester at Canyon Ridge High School.
That winter break, he decided to research the subjects he had struggled in and began improving his English.
“That’s when it all started making sense and I started picking up on stuff,” he said.
But even with the academic improvements, Mubibya couldn’t afford to go to college on his own. That changed when he found out he was selected by Chobani for their scholarship program. Education is the main opportunity Mubibya hoped for in America and he’s grateful for the ability to continue learning.
“When I got that scholarship I thought there is still hope, there is still something I can do, there is still a way to learn,” he said.
Mubibya, the fourth of seven children, will also be the first in his family to attend college. The chance to set an example for his younger siblings means a lot, he said.
“It’s a big step for anyone in my family,” he said. “This is a lifetime opportunity, and I can’t risk blowing it off.”
Scarrow continues family legacy
Katlyn Scarrow grew up working on a dairy farm that her great-great-grandfather started in the early 1940s. Next fall, Scarrow will join the animal and veterinary science program at University of Idaho with help from the Chobani Scholars program.
Scarrow plans to eventually work in a dairy laboratory. As part of a dairy family’s fifth generation, she’s developed a love and passion for the industry.
“It really has shaped who I am,” she said.
Scarrow will graduate in June from Kimberly High School, where she served as an officer in FFA. During her time, she participated in a variety of areas, including showing horses at the fair, doing community service and working at a dairy laboratory.
That engagement helped her earn a State FFA Degree — the highest award Idaho can give out. It’s also provided her with the experiences and connections necessary thrive in school and the workforce.
“It feels good to see all my hard work pay off,” she said. “I want to help dairymen in the future be the best that they can be.”
The Chobani Scholars program started in 2018 at University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to encourage students to pursue a variety of careers in the dairy industry, including veterinary sciences, agricultural systems management and agribusiness.
“The success of the next generation of dairy farmers is incredibly important to us, and through this program we can help invest in some of the most talented and passionate young people out there,” Jason Rahlan, director of social impact and philanthropy at Chobani, wrote in a statement. “Through this partnership with the University of Idaho, these students will learn the valuable skills needed to one day become the dairy leaders of tomorrow.”
Chobani awards scholarships of $20,000 each year to four students. The money is spread over the course of a four-year degree. The 2020 recipients, including Mubibya and Scarrow, are the second group to receive the award.
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