CIBOLO, Texas – When she was six years old Ifelouwa Akinropo’s father was able to move his family to the United States from Nigeria after winning a spot through a lottery system. It was a big change for Akinropo --- she says sometimes she felt alone, learning a new language in what felt like a new world to her.
“From like first grade to second grade no one understood me like they couldn’t really talk to me so I just talked to myself and practiced English,” Akinropo, a senior at Steele High School said.
But she didn’t let those challenges stop her. Now Akinropo has plenty of friends and lots of success. She is number three in her class and just got into Johns Hopkins University.
Akinropo is part of the Health and Science Program here and hopes to go to medical school one day. In May she hopes to be a certified medical assistant.
“I truly want to grow up and be able to help people feel better or even if they never get better because I know that’s a dark side of medicine. I want to be there for people to help them along and help them cope,” Akinropo said.
Akinropo continues to push past the obstacles life has given her and hopes to give back in her future. She says her goal is to one day practice medicine in Nigeria, and bring modern medicine to some areas that are struggling.
“They still have machines that America was using in the 1990s,” Akinropo said. “They’ve just not been able to upgrade that since then, so in 10 years I want to be looking for a way to spread that to Nigeria.”
Her teacher Rebecca Williams says she has no doubt Akinropo will accomplish her goals because she has already accomplished so much.
“She is really limitless in where the opportunities can take her, because she does have this mind set of ‘I can do what I need to do’ but I’m going to do it to help them,” Williams said.