Class of 2015 Testimonies: Part 2

College is more than an education. It's a place where you meet people from diverse backgrounds, with amazing stories. Over that last few years, we encountered some of these individuals, who just so happen to World Changers in the making. We want to honor them as well celebrate a milestone in their lives: Graduation.

Olumide Akinwande

Bachelors of Science in Finance

Bachelors of Science in Management

Minor in Leadership Studies

My graduation was literally a miracle! From graduating the Robert H. Smith School of Business with two majors and a minor to graduating from college loan-free, God’s hand has significantly been upon my collegiate career.

For those who like quick reads here is a list of testimonies! The cool thing about testimonies is that one definition for this word in the Hebrew means “to do again”! Hearing a testimony sows a seed for that same experience. A testimony simply is a window that opens up the opportunity for a person to experience that testimony and potentially even to a greater degree.


  • Falling deeper in love with God and His creation

  • Graduating college debt-free

  • Owing over $3,000 from the semester before senior year and receiving over $10,000 that summer in scholarships, paying both that debt and my entire senior year

  • Receiving over $30,000 in scholarship money

  • Studying abroad to Nicaragua free of charge

  • Full-time job offer upon graduation

  • Gaining and establishing eternal covenantal relationships

  • Last but surely not least, receiving my gift from Heaven, my life partner :) <3  

One thing I’ve learned throughout my college experience is that when God gives instructions, He also release the grace, the faith, and resources to accomplish them.

“Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word…” Romans 10:17

When Papa speaks, faith is released into the heart of the hearer. Mediating and reading His word, positions and prepares your heart to hear what Papa is saying.

The Lord spoke to me and gave me specific instruction to not take out any loans. He didn’t mention about how I would be able to pay for school, nor did He mention when I would receive the money to pay for school. He often does that… There were numerous times when that word was tested! But in those times of trials and tribulation, the process of receiving the promise, was in reality the promise in it of itself! Embrace the Promise Giver. Embrace the Promise. Embrace the Process!

Stay fresh my friends!

Shalom Aleichem

Peace Upon You  

Hawi Bekele

Bachelors of Science in Community Health

Minor in Biology

 "Yea, doubtless and I count all things as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ."

Philippians 3:8 

On March 8th, 2012, I didn't know Jesus was a friend. I didn't know people had purposes, I didn't even know tongues existed. I was addicted to everything that killed you from the inside out and I loved it. On March 9th, 2012, the Lord looked at me and said, "You gonna die today." Literally. Lol. And I did. And now I'm alive in Christ. See, my degree came with countless testimonies of grace in my grades, financial peace, free housing, a free car, and even finishing on time after changing my major every other semester. But the testimony that is dearest to my heart is coming to know Christ my freshman year during my spring semester. I went from being a broken, hopeless, purposeless, lonely  "1.45 GPA" having lost soul to being set free and being made whole. This degree represents four years of restoration, four years of mourning turning into dancing, four years of failures turning into perseverance and four years of funnnnn! I didn't receive honors cause I had to retake a class but shooooott, I really believe I graduated with the honor of experiencing and knowing that there's more in God! SO MUCH MORE. So, the question everyone's been dying to know..*drum roll please* WHATS NEXT?! (Insert inquisitive "trying not to be judgmental" face here). I'll tell you what's next!! Next time .  

Jasmine Smalls

"Feed your faith and starve your doubts. Say to yourself .. It's possible, it's possible, it's possible!!"

-Les Brown

Having spent four years at Richmond was one of the biggest blessings I have encountered in my young life. God really began to show me that He could take nothing and make it into something. As someone who had grown up in the church, I was taught faith, but I had never really walked in it. College was never really a goal of mine. My mind had been consumed with stereotypes, limited thinking and a victim of one less fortunate. While in Richmond, God showed me what walking in faith really meant. He taught me that Phillipians 4:13, Colossians 3:5 and Mathew 7:7 weren't merely scriptures, but they were the substance of truth. I became more friendly, loving and giving. Not overnight, but God truly changed my heart. I no longer walk in religion or standards set by others, but by relationship entirely with Him. I thank God for his covering mercy, the opportunities of grace and love through family and friendships. I had four years of hardships, personal set backs and trials. Yet, He was still able to turn this mess into a message. As I continue to grow, I am thankful.