Geofrey Kalanzi of Dakota County Technical College (Rosemount, Minn.) has overcome many obstacles in his life. He has shown the ability to persevere through difficult circumstances. The Kampala, Uganda, native lost both of his parents to AIDS at the age of 13. This left him and his siblings homeless, hungry and alone. Their fortunes took a turn for the better when they met David and Aimee Kyambadde. The Kyambadde’s took the children into their Home Again orphanage and gave them the love and support they needed. Aimee Kyambadde met Dakota County Technical College coach Cam Stoltz while on a return trip to her native Minnesota. From this meeting, Kalanzi and his brother Moses were awarded scholarships to play soccer at DCTC. On the soccer field, Kalanzi voluntarily moved to goalkeeper during his first season in 2007 after the team was plagued with injuries. He covered goal in 21 games with 171 saves and allowed an average of 2.29 goals per game. His unselfish commitment to the team earned him the Blue Knight Award, DCTC’s highest athletic honor. Kalanzi went back to his more familiar position of midfielder in 2008 and excelled. He had 18 points with seven goals and four assists. Kalanzi also was named Academic All-Region both of his years on campus with a 3.91 cumulative G.P.A. In addition to his efforts on the field and in the classroom, Kalanzi works tirelessly to educate others about widespread poverty and the devastating effects of AIDS on his homeland. The Business Marketing major is furthering his education and soccer career at College of St. Scholastica (NCAA Division III) in Duluth, Minn. He plans to ultimately return to Uganda to start his own orphanage. Cam Stoltz, Kalanzi’s coach at DCTC, said, “Geofrey was an ideal student for our program because of the balance and scope of excellence he brings to everything he does… We know that we are a better college for having enrolled him as a student.”
For his commitment to the values of sportsmanship, leadership, community service and academic excellence coupled with athletic ability and achievement, Geofrey Kalanzi is the recipient of the NJCAA’s Lea Plarski Award.