Kou Sua, Stetson University
Kou Sua, a junior Spanish major at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, is a tireless advocate for civil rights and education for disadvantaged youth. As a member of Stetson’s Bonner Program, Kou taught English to local migrant farmworker families for one year, and for the past two years has worked at a local Title I school as a classroom assistant where she tutors at-risk kindergarten and first-grade ESOL (English speakers of other languages) students. In Fall 2013 alone, Kou tutored and mentored ESOL students for a total of 434 hours – an average of more than 25 volunteer hours each week. Recognizing a need at her elementary school for after-school programs and tutoring, Kou is creating an after-school tutoring program that will begin in Fall 2014. Kou has also taken positions of leadership in an effort to educate and empower her peers about social justice, including serving on the national Bonner Congress, and twice being a Teaching Assistant for a first-year seminar course about community engagement and social justice. After she graduates, Sua intends to attend law school and become a civil rights attorney – continuing her work as an advocate committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education and systemic change.