BUFFALO, N.Y. - Graduation day at International Prep at Grover in Buffalo was special for one graduate who spent years in a refugee camp in Africa.
Over a year ago, two students who were friends at a refugee camp in Ethiopia spotted one another in the school hallway. Never did Kibrom and Mebrhit think they would see one another again. Kibrom is from Eritrea and Mebrhit is from Ethiopia.
English teacher Jennifer Freeman reflects on the meeting of the two students: "It chokes me up every time," she said. "They walk down the hallway one day and a chance meeting, and just the tears and the hugs, and they were reunited."
Mebrhit told reporter Claudine Ewing: " I was like, I can't believe this, really." She and Kibrom attended prom together. He graduated last year and is in college. "She's my best friend, she's very kind, generous, she's everything," he said.
Principal Carlos Alvarez gave Mebrhit the Florence Johnson Perseverance Award. "She's been nothing but great, she's worked tremendously hard, she's worked with Ms. Freeman, not only to learn the language, but to graduate in four years, what an unbelievable feat."
Kimbrom told his friend he hopes they can have a life together for a long time, "work hard, have fun, and I hope you will have a great future, and we're going to be together, forever!"
Mebrhit will major in chemistry this fall at D'Youville College. She plans to become a pharmacist.