Skip to content


Lost Boy combines kinesiology and nursing

Peter Deng

Peter Deng was 9 and living in southern Sudan when his life changed forever.

It was 1987 and the civil war had reached his village, forcing him and other boys to flee or face death or induction into the army.

For months, he and 20,000 children walked until they reached Ethiopia. Many died along the way. After four years, war broke out, and the children fled again. The survivors, about 10,000, eventually reached a refuge camp in Kenya.

“I was thinking that was the end of my life,” says Deng, who was then about 14. “We had nowhere to go.”

In 2000, the international community began accepting the Lost Boys of Sudan and Deng came to the United States, earning a kinesiology degree from UT Arlington in 2013. Looking to expand his education, he came back to UTA to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Deng hopes to work in the United States and return to his village as a health care missionary.

“UTA has helped me a lot,” he says. “It’s a blessing to be in this country. I’m the first in my family to have a degree. I want to help others. I’m thankful. You have given me a life.”