Abigael Ajuma graduated from Episcopal High School in 2017.
Abigael Ajuma comes from Katelenyang, a village in western, Kenya. Through Rev. Gideon Pollach, Zach Drennen, Mr. and Mrs. Doyle and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, she was introduced to Episcopal High School. She won a full scholarship. On August 2, 2013, Abigael made the multi-thousand-mile journey to EHS. By the end of her high school career, she was a monitor, a maroon mentor, a member of the service council, a librarian’s assistant, a captain for both girls varsity cross country and track and field, and a high list student. Additionally, she was honored with the Quentin Prize for Conduct, Scholarship and Character and an award for diligence in the study of mathematics.
Abigael’s journey to higher education was an especially difficult one. Despite her excellence in academics and extra-curricular activities, Abigael was only accepted to 4 out of the 30 colleges and universities she applied to. Unfortunately, none of these four institutions offered her a full scholarship she needed to attend. The uncertainty of Abigael’s future constantly worried her guardians and parents back in Kenya. Fortunately through an EHS parent, Abigael was connected with St. Lawrence University. She applied and was accepted. Through scholarships and Go-Fund Me contributions, Abigael was able to attend SLU. There, she excelled!
-As a sophomore, she studied abroad at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.
-She worked at Lechuang Youth Social Service Center in Hangzhou, China (summer, 2019).
-Held at least two on-campus employments to cater to her five siblings’ education and financially support her subsistence- farming parents.
-A co-president to Project PengYou club on campus.
-Graduated with a double major in government and global studies and a minor in Chinese studies.
-Presented her global studies honors thesis titled A Historical Analysis of How Capital Via Philanthropy Undermines Kenya’s State Power at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Social Research Conference.
-Inducted to the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society of political science.
- A fellow for the Tedra Cobb for Congress campaign.
Next, Ms. Ajuma secured a summer internship in Foreign Policy at the revered Brookings Institute. She’s ecstatic to learn about the security issues facing her continent and the effectiveness of proposed solutions. Most important to her, though is the opportunity to elevate the voices of the marginalized citizens of the global south and particularly, Africans. With her OPT card (1 year authorization to work in the US post-grad), she hopes to find a more permanent position in international relations and global development. Later, she will pursue masters in international relations and international law.
As a young African woman in a foreign country, it is with no doubt that Abigael’s transition to and experience at EHS was a challenging one. Fighting to fit in, Abigael struggled with severe homesickness, loneliness and confusion, but you would never know given her big smile and jovial personality. Reflecting on her time at EHS, Abigael promises to be a support system to future African students. She remains grateful to the institution for the opportunity that has and continues to open doors she would never have imagined entering ten years ago.