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Student Spotlight: Chinyere Okoro

Get to know YWLP Big Sister, Chinyere Okoro!

Year: 3rd
Major: Speech Communication Disorders; Youth and Social Innovation
Hometown: Brookfield, WI

1. Why are you passionate about your program at the Women's Center?

As a UVA student it is important for me to connect with the Charlottesville community and build relationships with my neighbors. I am passionate about YWLP because because it provides a unique opportunity to connect with a middle school girl in Charlottesville and invest in her academic and leadership development. Amidst the stress of UVA, YWLP grounds me and motivates me to continue studying and working towards a career serving youth populations.

2. What made you choose UVA over other schools you applied to?

I chose UVA because I wanted to leave Wisconsin and was impressed by the opportunities available at and after UVA. There is diverse major and CIO options and students are passionate about their studies and extracurricular involvement. I thought UVA would provide a good environment for me to learn and grow as a student and person.

3. What has surprised you about UVA?

I have been surprised by how supported and connected I’ve felt at UVA. Although there have been numerous incidents related to bias and prejudice during my time here, I’ve been very inspired by groups of students who are committed to addressing injustice in our community. Through hard times I am constantly surprised and grateful for those who reject the hatred and intolerance that violates our community of trust.

4. What's something you know you do differently than most people?

The only thing I can think of is that I keep 3 different calendars. I have a wall calendar by my desk, a paper calendar for my backpack, and a digital calendar on my laptop. It may be overkill, but it helps me remain organized and decrease stress.

5. If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

I would get coffee with President Barack Obama because he has had a huge impact on my life. As a 7th grader navigating my own racial and ethnic identity, I was so excited when our country elected a biracial president. Over the past 8 years I have been inspired by President Obama’s service and leadership. I would love the opportunity to sit down and let him know how important he has been to my life and thank him for being such a positive role model for me and so many others.

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