Jireh Mukawa (MA ‘22, BS ‘18), graduate of the FPU Community Leadership and Transformation and Business Marketing programs and aspiring city planner, embodies a certain student— one who earns an education to transform his community. In short, a Fresno Pacific student.

At the City of Fresno’s department of transportation, Fresno Area Express (FAX), Mukawa makes transportation more accessible to low- and moderate-income residents. Mukawa also serves as an administrator at On Ramps Covenant Church in downtown Fresno. In his free time, he teaches local youth around African drum circles.

“It is very important for me to contribute to the well-being of this place while I am here. My faith compels me to do it,” he says.

Mukawa is one student who inspired this year’s Ignite the Spark-Change the World annual giving campaign, which connects FPU donors to community-transforming students, funding ways to enable students to fulfill their purpose, whether as a social worker, teacher, nurse, minister, entrepreneur or other professional dedicated to making a difference in their community.

For FPU, this annual campaign is timely and more important than ever. Students lost critical personal connection to faculty, classmates and donors during the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial for FPU students to re-engage in community during increasingly polarizing times.

FPU’s model of community, centered on the Fresno Pacific Idea, pushes students toward counter-cultural service and stewardship—work that needs faithful donors. For Mukawa, an international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, scholarships are imperative. “Not only are we required to be full-time students, but we don’t have access to federal loans, so most of our payments come from out of pocket,” he says.

FPU needs your help to ignite the spark for students like Mukawa. Help us continue to change lives, consider a donation today

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