We Are APS: Koluchi Odiegwu

A servant leader is who Koluchi Odiegwu has become. This Maynard Jackson High School senior, has used her life’s lessons as a catalyst for change. She dreams of becoming a global citizen, serving, giving and saving lives from around the world.

“When I came to Maynard Jackson, I wanted to join every club, but wanted to create a culture that was the opposite of surface level membership,” she said. “So, I decided to do my own thing and started a Cooking for Change organization. The club allowed students, who were from low-income areas, including myself, to learn culinary skills as well as take food home to their families. We also taught about the importance of  healthy eating and how to use resources that are already in your pantry to make meals.”

The club became a perfect place for students of all backgrounds to fellowship and learn more about one another.

“Because our members were so diverse, the meetings conversations centered around inclusion,” Koluchi said. “We were able to connect with one another regardless of race.”

Koluchi aspires to fully integrate herself into the world. She enjoys advocating for change and recently discovered that the medical field will satisfy her need to help and explore the world.

“I really would like to become a travel surgeon. My family is from Nigeria, and I have seen how bad the healthcare system is and where there is room to grow to reach its full potential. Again, I want to create a culture of progress,” said Koluchi. 

Education is key for Koluchi and her family. She expressed: “I grew up in a bilingual household. We would mix Igbo, our native language, with English. My mom would bring us English books. At seven, I was reading Pride and Prejudice. Because of that, I fell in love with the English language very early in life. Through that experience, my mom instilled in us that education is the foundation for any goal you wish to set. My mom came to America 20 years ago after winning a visa lottery. She came alone. She built herself from the ground up. She graduated from high school in Nigeria, but it doesn’t count here in America, so when I was in middle school, she was pursuing her GED.” 

Koluchi was heavily inspired by her moms perseverance. No matter what her mom experienced, she still found time to receive an education and take care of her family. 

Koluchi is leaning towards taking her talents to Emory University in the fall. She is confident that her dreams will come true, and this is only the beginning.

College/University:Emory, Bard College, New York University, Agnes Scott
Intended Major:Pre Med and English
Career Goal:Travel Surgeon

Atlanta Public Schools will host high school commencement exercises Saturday, May 18 – Friday, May 24, 2019. All ceremonies — except Atlanta Classical Academy and Charles R. Drew Charter School — will be held at Georgia Institute of Technology, McCamish Pavilion,965 Fowler Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. For more information on commencement exercises, go to www.atlantapublicschools.us/gradnation.

We Are APS highlights APS visionaries (parents, students, teachers, principals, support staff, community members, partners, etc.), who exemplify our vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. To recommend an APS visionary for a We Are APS feature, contact your communications liaison or email apscommunicationsoffice@gmail.com.

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