“I moved to the United States at age 3 as a refugee from Senegal, West Africa. During this journey, I became the first in my family to graduate from high school, as well as the first to attend college. Coming from the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri and reflecting on my life, I wish I had more people that looked like me that I could look up to as a beacon of hope knowing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
I feel that by obtaining a collegiate education, an individual can equip themselves with the power of knowledge to help change their life and the lives of those around them. thus creating a cycle of responsibility that enhances the mindset and climate of the communities that we live in to build a better foundation for the future.
Often in minority communities, children aspire to become athletes or artists because they aren’t exposed to the other professions out there that they might take interest in. I myself didn’t know what STEM was until high school. I think that with the right amount of support from older individuals that children can relate to, we can build a stronger foundation.
I plan to utilize my degree and the skills I’ve gained at Wichita State by serving as a role model and leader in the community, as well as an engineer, to educate and positively influence youth that grew up in similar circumstances like me.”