Inspiring the Future Generation: Georges Ndayizeye from Burundian Refugee to Award-Winning Engineer in the US

Georges Ndayizeye

A 41-year-old Burundian engineer who works for the globally renowned US aircraft manufacturer Boeing was given the prestigious Black Engineer of the Year Award 2023 – BEYA on February 11th, 2023. His success story, enthusiastically received by many Burundians online serves as an inspiration & motivation for young people in Burundi. Let’s learn a couple of facts about George Ndayizeye.

Georges Ndayizeye had a moment where he believed his life was over. His boarding school was attacked at age 12 by individuals carrying machetes. He could never have imagined himself at the top of the United States, championing innovation in the field of plane manufacturing, having to hide here and there to save his life.

Although they fascinated him, airplanes also darkened his old days. As a young child, he had to hide when he heard the sound of a plane because at the time, when the nation was experiencing violence, planes were often used to bomb people.

Incapable of pursuing his studies, he later, joined an older brother and sister who had migrated to Charlotte, North Carolina, using a student visa. He applied for asylum once he arrived in the United States in 2001. The once upon time refugee, native of Vugizo, Makamba province is now the man who is doing feats as an engineer in Boeing.

The US aircraft manufacturing company recognized Georges Ndayizeye for his significant technical contributions to a number of aircraft, including the 787-9 and 777-9 models. Speaking about the honor to a journalist from VOA, George Ndayizeye said: “It was a great honor and pleasure for me when I was called to receive this award for the black engineer who marked the year 2023….”

For him this award is an acknowledgement of the hard work, dedication and commitment that has gone into their profession, showing these young people that success is possible. his piece of advices to Burundian youth is to be optimistic, determined,diligent and having a mentor from whom they learn.

Its fair that the award sends out a powerful message to youth from Burundi; with hard work, ambition and perseverance, a successful career in engineering is achievable no matter where someone is from. Seeing a fellow citizen triumph in this way can be inspirational to young people in the country and encourage them to strive towards their ambitions whilst recognising that success is achievable even amidst difficult circumstances. This can have profound effects on inspiring and growing future generations of engineers within Burundi.

You will know that 5 years ago in 2018, another Burundian won the BEYA, Eric Biribuze received the prestigious award for his 20 years of professional contributions and accomplishments at Corning, an american multinational technology company that specializes in glass, ceramics, and advanced optics.

Evariste Niyonkuru

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