George Washington University, 2022
Cultivate love, peace, and kindness, and always be open-minded to learn from others who are different from you. Our differences are our greatest strengths.
Christian has spent most of his life beating the odds. A native of Burkina Faso, West Africa, he was born a leader as the oldest of 9 siblings. Due to poverty-stricken circumstances, he was forced to leave school at the age of 7 to provide for his family. By the age of 14, he was told that school was not for him and that he would not amount to anything. Seeking opportunity for a better life and a higher education, Christian's parents decided it was time for him to embark on a journey to the US, leaving behind his family, friends, and beloved community. He arrived in Falls Church, VA without any knowledge or ability to read, write or speak English. Most would feel intimidated and powerless, but not Christian. He thrives on proving others wrong. His infectious smile crossed language barriers as an eager freshman at Justice High School. Determination, enthusiasm, and gratitude allowed Christian to make friends quickly, excel academically in the demanding International Baccalaureate program, and athletically on the Varsity soccer field. Simultaneously, he seized every opportunity imaginable in school while working over 20 hours a week living in very modest conditions, often on the sofa of a friend's home.
"All I will say is: you don't need to know my story yet. Next stop - George Washington University!" Through a generous scholarship from GWU and support from POE, his tenacity paid off. He chose to double major in International Relations and Business and hopes to work for a large multinational consulting firm when he graduates. Like many POE students, Christian worked on and off campus to cover his gap as well as familial obligations. He completed a management training program at CVS the summer after his junior year and has continued working nearly 35 hours a week while managing 17 credit hours a semester and maintaining an impressive GPA.
Christian's work ethic is undeniably superhuman. He is the first GWU graduate student to be elected President of the Student Government. Yet again, this win didn't come easily. It wasn't until his third attempt his senior that he triumphed - yes, he ran three hard-fought and time-consuming campaigns. According to Christian, if you really want something, you have to fight for it and never let anyone tell you "you can't." As President, his mission is to be the voice of those who have not been heard. He will work to expand the University's commitment to scholarships and career services and to bridge the divide between students and the underserved community of Washington, DC.
His heart is forever with his mother and siblings who he has not seen since he left home. In the meantime, he is creating an NGO, raising capital to install a well in his family's village to provide access to clean, running water and relieve them from traveling miles on foot every day. We have no doubt that he will succeed. You can follow Christian's endeavors and lively dances (can't forget to mention his moves!) on Instagram along with his 21k+ followers!