Victoria Efetevbia, Georgetown University
Columbus LLI graduate Victoria Efetevbia writes from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she is doing a Georgetown University semester abroad.
She is enrolled in courses about Twentieth Century Africa, the British legacy of the Atlantic slave trade, technology and society, and Yoruba, a Nigerian language. In the short term, this study fits her major in sociology and minor in African American studies. In the long term, she plans to work to advance social justice, and hopes that studying abroad serves that goal as well.
“I am very passionate about domestic U.S. issues,” she says. “But, SOAS has really opened my eyes to how domestic issues connect with international issues. It has sparked an interest in human rights for me.”
After graduation from Georgetown next year, Victoria will pursue a law degree and a graduate degree in public policy, perhaps also an LL.M., the advanced degree in law. Once a lawyer, she anticipates working in the areas of criminal justice and racial equality. Long term she hopes to run her own think tank.
“The confidence that I have in myself today to dream big and question everything is heavily influenced by my LLI rearing,” she writes.
She also notes LLI’s role in understanding the importance of professionalism. She adds that LLI teachers “really enforced the notion that preparation is always key -– in debate competitions, exams, networking, and for success in general.” Besides, she says, “[At LLI] I learned a lot of cool things about the legal field that most kids my age at the time were not exposed to.”
Victoria’s advice to current LLI students? “First and foremost, stay in the program for all four years if you can. Secondly, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I was always insecure about the way I talked. But, pushing myself to pursue leadership roles in LLI competitions and speaking up in class helped me. LLI is a safe space where you should always feel comfortable challenging yourself and stumbling sometimes.”