(KUTV) A West Jordan High teen and Sudan refugee who hasn't seen his family in eight years graduates Wednesday winning the Jaguar award.
Kuku, 18, hails from the war-torn African country of Sudan. Growing up, he would walk three hours just to get to school in Kenya. He arrived in Utah two years ago.
"Education is very important for me,a Kuku said, "because my parents are not educated. It's pretty important for me to go to school and learn more so I can help them out."
Kuku speaks four languages; English, Arabic, Swahili and his native tongue, Tehra. He hopes to one day teach other kids in Sudan how to read and write.
His talents aren't limited to academics either.
Kuku played on the varsity soccer team at West Jordan High. He credits good friends who have helped him get involved and stay active.
When Kuku first arrived to the states, he only spoke a handful of words like, "Hi" and "How are you".
He continued to persevere and has grown a love for Utah.
"I love the weather," Kuku said.
Kuku, the first to graduate from high school in his family, also plans to attend Salt Lake Community College, another first for his family, and then later transfer to the University of Utah.
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Reporter: Dan Rascon
Produced by: Kelsey Koenen Witt
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting.)