Nneka Onyekwuluje is a member of George Washington University’s Class of 2021, majoring in International Affairs and Africana Studies. Nneka is deeply involved in community engagement both here on campus and in the broader community. Nneka serves as a Student Community Engaged Scholar through the Honey W Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. In that role, she has worked as a research assistant to a GW-community partnership health project which focuses on the experiences of Black men in order to provide better health care for them. In addition, Nneka has been an officer of GW’s Black Student Union, organizing events for members to learn about and take action on current events on and off-campus. Nneka has worked to make change at multiple levels: on campus through student organizations, with faculty through action research, and on Capitol Hill in her work with a Congresswoman. She plans to continue to conduct research and learn in the liberal arts, and will continue to share her love for learning with others.
Growing up I was immensely aware of the inequities existing around me and was driven to be a positive change. During my junior year of High School I founded the Adopt-a-Grandparent program, devoted to bridging gaps between youth and elders in my community by providing educational experiences that foster communal rapport. At George Washington University, I witnessed how systemic injustices such as racism and classism exacerbate problems like poverty and mental health disparities throughout communities of Color. Sophomore year, I was elected Vice President of the ‘BSU’ where I made it my mission to amplify the voices and values of Black students on campus. I also served as the Chair of the Black Heritage Celebration, a month-long series of events that celebrated the culture and history that exists within the Black community. I currently serve as a program assistant to the M.H.I STREET Project, a program dedicated to providing mental health resources to Black males in Southeast D.C. Here, I work closely with community members to assess outstanding needs and develop programs to implement in an embedded education curriculum. As I continue to learn and grow I will strive to honor my deep commitment to empowering those around me.