Born in northern Africa in what is now South Sudan, Dau and his family had to walk more than 100 miles through the unforgiving desert to escape war, famine and disease only to end up in a UN refugee camp with more than 200,000 other displaced people. And all this time, Dau received very little education.

Fortunately, when Dau was 10, his family received asylum in America and he started attending school. But due to his lack of education, he had trouble keeping up. And because he was from some place different and spoke a different language, he was often bullied which lead to many fights. His mother decided enough was enough and that he needed to change schools. But even with two jobs, she couldn’t afford the private schools he needed. But that all changed with ACE.

ACE made it possible for Dau to attend a great private school where the smaller class size and more individual attention made it possible for him to catch up with his classmates. And through a work study program he also gained real world experience not to mention some much needed confidence.

And as if graduating high school wasn’t enough of an accomplishment for Dau, he went on to do what was once unimaginable, receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship as he headed off to college.

After graduating college (and possibly grad school), Dau hopes to either be a diplomat or to work at an international relief agency much like the one that helped him and his family.

Read More Stories »