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Born and raised in a dream vacation spot where shark and other delicious foods were normal to eat, how did Sherazade Ali end up here in Rexburg, Idaho?

A native of the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Ali stepped foot in Rexburg for the first time in September 2017.

“Wow, this is it. I am here,” she thought when she arrived.

She said the temple lights she saw in the night, along with the lights on campus, made her feel safe. She was excited to be here, and her life would shortly change forever.

Aside from leaving her tropical home, and unlike most students who step foot on the campus of BYU-Idaho for the first time, Ali had already graduated from college with a bachelor’s, double-majoring in biology and environmental and natural resources management at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in Trinidad7

Not only that, but one of her professors, a soil chemist, said that she would qualify for a scholarship to the University of Utah.

“I felt like I needed to serve a mission instead,” Ali said.

Even though she got really excited about the opportunity to do what she loved at a big school in Utah, she knew that she also loved the gospel, and Heavenly Father led her to share that with others in the Columbus Ohio mission.

“On my mission is when I got exposed to hearing about this school; I heard about it from almost every companion,” Ali said. “They told me about how it was fun being among people like themselves. They told me about the dating and how the professors really cared.”

Throughout her mission the option to start school again, this time at BYU-I, was in her mind.

“I thought about how different that sounded compared to my school in Trinidad,” Ali said. “I never really felt like my teachers really cared.”

After completing her mission, she knew that she had to start school again.

“I got accepted, but I didn’t know how I would get here,” Ali said. “I trusted the Lord and my family supported me, helping my tuition. It’s been such a blessing to be here. It’s definitely not like college in Trinidad.”

About a month after being here, she met her eternal companion, Nana Yaw Ansah Antwi. She continues to study nursing while caring for her newborn baby.

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