Nneoma Nwankwo is a Nigerian girl who has made the country proud with her outstanding award as Virginia Tech’s student of the year.
Nwankwo has maintained a 3.9 Grade Point Average, and will be graduating in May 2016 with a degree in Political Science. Her inspiring passion for service of others tells her impact through an independent study conducted on the negative effects of poor Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) on the education and socio-economic empowerment of girls in underserved areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Her proposal to pursue service-oriented MHM research in West Africa, brought her the Austin Michelle Cloyd Fellowship award for Social Justice in 2014.
“At Virginia Tech, I have been challenged to live in service to others,” Nwankwo said. “I have learned how to lead boldly as I pursue my global development interests. Ultimately, I have discovered that Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is an active verb, and when I serve those around me, I create a meaningful life for myself.”
Nneoma Nwankwo is currently minoring in Public and Urban Affairs and Creative Writing.
She also excelled last year when findings from her research was published by Virginia Tech’s Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education.
Nwankwo says she is passionate about making sure Nigerian women’s voices are heard.
“For me, it was necessary for women’s voices to be heard; thus, in Nigeria, I conducted focus groups and workshops with young women. In the Republic of Niger, I participated in the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and United Nations Women menstrual hygiene training, which were aimed at lobbying national policymakers to establish MHM as a top priority in water and sanitation legislation. Through these unique experiences, I found passion in working in the service of others.”
This Nigerian girl has also served as the fundraising chair for the African Students Association and raised money for a local charity in Ethiopia; she is a coach at the Virginia Tech Writing Center, and was International columnist for the Collegiate Times student-run newspaper. She has also received Scholarships from Overton R. Johnson and Accenture.
According to Virginia Tech News:
“The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Student of the Year award recognizes a graduating student, Nneoma Nwankwo, who has achieved overall excellence during her undergraduate career at the university. The recognition is the most prestigious non-academic undergraduate award given at Virginia Tech and is awarded to a student who has exceptional and balanced achievement in academics, leadership, and service. The recipient exemplifies the qualities and values important to a Virginia Tech education, captured in the university motto, Ut Prosim.“