Getenet TujiSt. Paul, Minnesota – St. Paul Central’s Getenet Tuji is going to Northwestern on a soccer scholarship, but the senior forward from Ethiopia needed help from a friend’s mother to get it.

An inquisitive mother helped secure a brighter future for someone she had never met.

St. Paul Central senior Getenet Tuji will sign a national letter of intent to play soccer at Northwestern University on Wednesday afternoon and he credits Catherine Day for making it possible.

“She made everything really easy,” Tuji said. “A lot of people helped me, but mostly it’s really her.”

Known as “Ms. Forde” to Tuji, Day made an extra effort to become a part of the soccer player’s life after learning of him through her daughter’s story. In the fall of 2011, Kara Forde explained how her friend, Tuji, had received a handwritten letter from the Northwestern soccer coach. The details didn’t go much further. Tuji moved to the United States from Ethiopia when he was in fourth grade. It took him two years to learn English and his parents still struggle to communicate. The language barrier, a heavy work load, and unfamiliarity with the recruiting process left Tuji’s parents confused.

Read more