Student Spotlight
Lieve Marie-Claire Kitsa
Lieve Marie-Claire Kitsa

Lieve Marie-Claire Kitsa has forgotten what "free time" is because she simply doesn't have any. She's a student at Onondaga Community College who works full-time, is a mother, and a wife. She also has something new to celebrate. Earlier this semester she was inducted into the College's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. "It was a surprise. I was honored."

Kitsa immigrated to the United States in 2019 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She began taking classes Nursing prerequisites at OCC in 2022. She had a strong medical background after working as a Nurse's Aide in Uganda. "We needed to know everything from doing the lab work to delivering babies. I was also a counselor. I would counsel people for contraceptive use or family planning, or people who tested for HIV."

Complications related to a pregnancy forced her to take time off from school. After giving birth to her third child and fully recovering, she returned to campus and continued her academic journey. She also continued her work at Catholic Charities where she is a Resettlement Case Manager. "I have a demanding job, especially now with so many refugees coming in. But I really enjoy it. It's rewarding when you see families smile as they come through the airport, helping them through the challenges of a new life."

Next March Kitsa and her family will celebrate 5 years in the United States. She's proud of what she's accomplished and where she's going. "I'm really glad to be here and I'm happy I'm learning more. I'm trying to do something for myself and my family."

Onondaga Community College