Luto Tom has a dream of going to the United States on a soccer scholarship. his dream has almost come true on a few different occasions.
In 2016, Luto went on the first University of Ubuntu trip to the United States, and he knew he wanted to play college soccer.
At 18, Luto received an offer to go to boarding school in the US, with hopes of this opportunity providing a launching pad for university. The boarding school gave three scholarships to students, and Luto was the fourth. His SAT score was on the bubble, so he rewrote the test hoping for a higher score and another chance.
Back in Cape Town, he completed his matric at Silvermine Academy, all the while applying to universities in the US with high hopes of a soccer scholarship. Luto began the enrollment process. Applications, eligibility, scholarships. Three schools later, Luto signed his Letter of Intent and received a full scholarship, only to receive an email a few minutes later that the funding had been overspent, and the scholarship Luto hoped for was no longer available. Get knocked down, get back up.
Iowa Lakes pursued Luto, and he began the process once more. After signing his Letter of Intent to Iowa Lakes, Luto learned he would need to write the TOEFL exam to become eligible; his SAT score would not suffice. (TOEFL = standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities) One more hurdle. With less than a week to register, prepare, and take the exam, Luto approached this challenge with positivity and confidence, knowing that if this test didn’t go well, his dreams of attending university might fall away, at least for the Fall of 2018.
A few weeks later, Luto received the news that he passed the exam. On Friday, he picked up his student visa. At the beginning of August, he will travel to Spencer, Iowa, where he will begin his freshman year. We are so excited for you Luto, and we can't wait to follow your college career!