Receva Duos ‘17
Criminal Justice & Applied Philosophy Majors // Psychology Minor

For much of Receva Duos’ childhood, the future was uncertain. After her family’s long and dangerous journey to a better life in the United States, she vowed not to take any opportunity for granted.

Born in Sudan during the country’s longest known civil war, Receva and her family were left waiting for the war to reach their village, Mabaan. Many families like the Duos’ were caught among the religious struggles and endless fighting over oil revenues and other resources between North Sudan and South Sudan.

The Duos family had to flee for their lives leaving everything behind, including Receva’s oldest brother, Andrew. They walked for months until finding refuge in an Ethiopian camp, where the family lived for almost three years before being accepted to come to the States when Receva was only a toddler.

“My parents risked their lives to bring me and my siblings here for a better life, so I feel like I owe it to them to get a degree and take advantage of the many opportunities most people take for granted,” Receva said. “And, although sometimes it is difficult, I feel extremely blessed to be where I am today. So in the end, the war opened the door to a better life for me and my family.”

After receiving the Catherine McAuley Scholarship from Mount Mercy University, Receva was given the opportunity to exceed her parents’ expectations without having to worry about how to pay for college. The scholarship, established in early 2014, covers full tuition and is awarded to students who represent the Mercy values in and out of the classroom, and whose annual family income is less than $45,000.

“MMU has given me the opportunity to not just further my education, but also to gain new experiences and meet many people from different backgrounds that have greatly impacted my life,” said Receva, who is a junior pursuing a double-major in criminal justice and philosophy with a minor in psychology.

She aspires to return to Georgia—where she grew up before moving to Iowa—to continue her education in law school. Receva hopes to become a criminal investigator.

The education she is receiving at MMU is one-of-a-kind, and Receva isn’t afraid to tell others about her experience.

“Mount Mercy may be small but it offers just as many, if not more, opportunities than a larger university. Yes, at a state school, you may meet more people, but you don’t get to know the community as well as you would at a school like MMU.”