Amandine Akimana – Miss Burundi Utah 2020
At a tender age, Amandine Akimna aspired to follow in her beloved mother’s footsteps and become an influential woman of law. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer, a judge or even social worker to protect the members of her community. As she reflects on her childhood, Amandine contemplates the dreams of children in her neighborhood. Similar to hers, Armandine Burundian playmates dreamed of making a positive impact on their communities. However, before long these dreams were drowned by the sounds of gunshots; they were trampled under the feet of starvation, and thirst.
The aftermath of the Genocide left Armandine’s family as refugees. Born in Tanzania in a refugee camp, Armandine hoped for a life beyond the camps. She yearned for a life where she could attend school, earn an education and support the development of her community. Armandine was motivated to keep her dreams and aspirations insight each and every day. However, the further her family ran away from the places they once knew as home, the faster her dreams dissolved into dust and tears. Despite all these challenges, Armandine’s family
persevered. Her family’s race for survival was deadly; therefore the presence of both parents often reminds Armandine of what a blessing it is to still have her mother and father at her side.
The year 2008 brought new hopes and opportunities. Armandine’s family relocated to the United States in February and was enrolled in the fourth grade two months later. Now, 11 years later after the resettlement, Armandine is a Junior at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business pursuing a degree in Management and Philosophy. Upon completion, she plans to
attend law school.