Published: May 5, 2016
Saying Nyakoon

From the perspective of her father, who immigrated to the United States from Liberia, West Africa, education isn't a guarantee, it’s a privilege.

And Sayoni Nyakoon is treating it as such. And she is taking full advantage of the opportunities available to her at CU-Boulder, such as adding minors in leadership studies and education to her humanities major.

“Because we moved a lot as a family, I also saw how unequal the quality of education in schools very near to each other here in the U.S. can be,” Nyakoon said. “For these reasons I was drawn to education as a vehicle for rectifying some of our society's ills and its potential for stopping the cycle of poverty.”

Nyakoon said minoring in education minor has added to her understanding of the education system and inequity in the United States, and helped deepen her knowledge in non-education courses as well.

She also believes it will be very helpful after graduation.

“I plan to become an educator and go to graduate school,” she said. “I will use the skills I gained in seminar and practicum to inform my teaching practice.”

In the end, she said, it was worth the extra work. She credits her mother with instilling a strong work ethic in her.

“I never shy away from work, and I do appreciate her for it,” Nyakoon said. “Because of both my parents I'm graduating magna cum laude and attending graduate school with a generous scholarship.”