Adinawa Adjagbodjou was born in Benin, a small country in West Africa, where dashes through open-air markets filled her days and stories around the dinner stove beneath starry skies filled her nights. A spirited child, her enthusiasm grew with her as the years progressed and still fuels her today in all of the activities in which she partakes, whether it entails the thrill of solving a complicated math equation, or the excitement of raising funds for clubs such as the National Honor Society over which she presides or organizations such as the American Cancer Society. Her enthusiasm and determination have led her to be an avid member of her community as she seeks ways to give back to those who have devoted so much to her community. In honoring her mission, she has organized for several years and volunteered at the Veteran’s Day Assembly held at her school to honor local service men and women. As Adinawa pursues all of her passions, she has always managed to keep in mind her goal of giving back to her community; through her love of writing-the president of her school’s Creative Writing Club and the founder and editor of the school’s literary magazine, she found another means through which to give back to her community: the written word. Adinawa published a children’s book whose funds are being donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation, to bring awareness to Congenital Heart Defects.

Adinawa aspires to a career in which she is able to continue giving back and so she plans to study in the economic fields which will enable her to help empower youth in communities such as those she herself has been a part of, by not only investing in but establishing much needed programs and institutions in poverty-stricken regions whose lack of resources result in poor health and education, and help build stronger foundations on which the youth can thrive.

After moving to the United States at the age of eight, Adinawa witnessed the sacrifices her parents endured as they worked their hardest to help each of her four siblings attain the better life that they had so desperately aspired for in migrating to this new world. This same drive lies in her as moves forward in the future and has been at the root of all the endeavors throughout high school, allowing her to not only become a role-model to her younger siblings but to become a leader in her school and community; her experiences have led her to become a compassionate and open-minded peer. In her arrival to the United States, she came face to face with an amalgamation of new cultures, a plethora of which she learned to embrace and appreciate; she now strives to incorporate a global awareness into all her intellectual pursuits which led her to become a part of her high school’s International Baccalaureate Program. Her hard-work and unwavering dedication has earned her a first ranked position in her graduating class, despite the program’s rigor.

Adinawa Adjagbodjou

Hometown – Denton, TX
Undergrad – Harvard College, Economics and Computer Science
Graduate School – PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science Department