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International student seeks to make his mark through the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham

With scholarship to any university in the world, Kiene Demba chooses Blinn College

With scholarship to any university in the world, Kiene Demba chooses Blinn College

April 19, 2023

With a scholarship from the Angola Ministry of Oil and Gas in hand, Kiene Demba could have gone to any university in the world, all expenses paid. He chose Blinn College.

Demba enrolled in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham, making the 8,044-mile journey from his home country of Angola after receiving one of the highly competitive scholarships.

The Engineering Academy allows students to pursue their engineering bachelor’s degree while co-enrolled at Texas A&M and Blinn. Students take their courses on the Blinn-Brenham Campus, with Texas A&M College of Engineering faculty teaching the Texas A&M engineering classes. Students who complete the program with a minimum 3.75 grade point average (GPA) earn automatic admission to their first-choice engineering major.

Demba, a freshman, said he has no doubt that he made the right choice as he pursues a career in civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering. With a 4.0 GPA, he will make the move to Texas A&M this fall.

“It felt right,” said Demba, who decided to attend the Engineering Academy after a visit. “When I got here, I saw that coming here was a very good option because it allowed me to be part of the same program at Texas A&M and at the same time be in a small group.

“One part of being a student – especially an international student – is emotional support. I’ve been able to make friends. I am able to talk to my teachers face to face and tell them about my problems. That’s very good. That relieves a lot of stress for me, and it’s making my path from Angola to the U.S. way easier.”

Demba has some lofty goals. The son of a farmer, he has 24 siblings, a family filled with success stories, and a burning desire to help others.

“I feel like I’m closer to home,” Demba said of his experiences at Blinn-Brenham. “Here, we have time to talk about Angola. We have time to share experiences. That’s why I decided to stay here. This school has given me a chance to go out there and talk with people. By doing that, I’ve been able to meet many people from different walks of life, different areas of study. I’ve been able to acquire knowledge.”

Demba is still deciding what field to pursue among electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering. He already has shown a knack as an entrepreneur, starting a successful business selling plantains – with the help of his mother – when he was still in high school.

“From that business, I started talking to people. I saw that it was good helping them,” he said. “Whenever you have a business that meets people’s needs, that’s awesome.”

A discussion with his father, who farms more than 8,500 acres of land in Angola, led Demba to focus his studies on engineering.

“One day, I was talking to my father. He said something that people don’t pay much attention to right now is water, water management,” said Demba. “When I heard that, I started thinking. What would be a good way to help solve that problem? I started looking into water management and that led me to engineering.

“My ultimate goal in life is to start my own business. I want to help everywhere. If you stay in one place, you’re limited. You’re putting a bubble around whatever projects you want to do. Wherever there is a need, I want to help.”

Demba is a model student with a bright future, said Lauren Buth, Director of Engineering Programs for the Blinn College District.

“Kiene is an exceptional young man who will make a profound impact on our world,” Buth said. “Not only is he a stellar student, but he has a magnetic personality and is a favorite among his peers. With an inclusive mindset, he engages with other students, faculty, and guests with genuine kindness and interest. He is a natural born leader, and we are so proud he chose Blinn College to begin his academic journey.”

Demba is motivated to succeed, saying, “Every day is a chance to be 1% better. I can be 1% better, be more knowledgeable about something than I was yesterday. You can always learn. Everything I’m planning to do with my future, Blinn has helped bring me closer to that goal.”

For more information about Blinn’s Engineering Program, visit

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