Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Aspirations and Accomplishments

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Aspirations and Accomplishments

Article excerpt

Growing up in Guadeloupe, Paul Sime knew early on that he had big aspirations. With the encouragement of his family, Sime left his native island at 13 to pursue his passion for soccer and education in the United States.

"Guadeloupe has a spot in my heart. It's where I grew up and where a lot of my friends and family live," he tells Diverse. "But [growing up there] many times I felt trapped. I felt like my dreams or ideas could not fully grow or become what I wanted them to be. I definitely prefer the U.S. in that in the U.S., I feel like I can actually make my dreams come true."

Today, Sime is a senior at the University of Kentucky (UK), finishing up a successful four years of playing for the men's soccer team while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He moved to the U.S. to attend IMG Academy, an independent boarding school in Florida that serves K-12 students from all over the world. He left behind the majority of his family in Guadeloupe, other than two of his older sisters who were already attending IMG.

"My dad actually was the mastermind behind this decision," Sime says of his choice to attend IMG. "He's just a really wise person. He saw ahead and thought that me getting an education in the U.S. will benefit me in the future, which I'm grateful and thankful for him helping me make that decision, because I do think that getting a high school education and even a college education in the U.S. has helped me a lot."

Although Sime describes himself as "5 feet 8 inches and 130 pounds" as a high school senior, his abilities on the soccer field earned him the recognition of college recruiters. In choosing colleges, Sime was careful to balance academic and athletic excellence, finding that many schools offered one, but not necessarily the other.

"Often it was either good soccer, but not as good education, or good education, but not as good soccer," Sime says. "So I couldn't find that balance, until I found UK."As a freshman who was self-admittedly on the smaller side when he first arrived on the UK campus, Sime says that he had a bit of a learning curve before he caught up with his teammates--a challenge he embraced with open arms. …

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