ESU International Students, Seniors, To Address Classmates During Spring Commencement Exercises
Two international students, Aminata Touray of Gambia, West Africa and Sarah Morabu from Nairobi, Kenya, will be the student commencement speakers at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Touray, a graduating business management major will be the student commencement speaker for the morning undergraduate commencement ceremony, set to begin at 9 a.m., and Sarah Morabu, a graduating public health major, is the student commencement speaker for the 1 p.m. afternoon undergraduate commencement ceremony. Morabu and Touray were selected from a pool of six student speaker candidates.
Criteria for student speaker candidates includes: a minimum 3.0 grade point average entering the fall semester; a demonstrated record of service to the university community, and, a record of leadership and cooperation; demonstrated evidence of meaningful extra/co-curricular involvement, and; must be in good academic standing.
Touray, an international student, takes great pride in her work at home in Gambia and here in East Stroudsburg. She is a member of the International Students Organization and has inspired and motivated students in her leadership role with the organization. She has also been involved with the Diversity Committee and Women for Awareness. Her ability to relate to diverse audiences with humility and realism has enabled her to make a positive impact on the student community. For example, she has worked with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in resolving issues international students face during their first semester in the United States. Touray was recognized for her work, receiving a Multicultural Leadership Award and Service Award for leadership and service to the campus community.
Touray said “ESU has been a life changing experience and has opened so many amazing opportunities for me. I will take lessons learned from inside and outside the classroom with me because the school has prepared me for whatever is out there.”
Her work at ESU is mirrored by the work she has accomplished in her home community in Gambia as a role model for students, young adults and community members.
Touray is an advocate for women who have been victims of rape and molestation in her country. One of two children, she is inspired by her family, especially her mom, who is her role model, her support system who has worked hard to get her to where she is today.
Beyond graduation, Touray aspires to become a certified public accountant and plans to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
Ms. Morabu is an international student who came to America in search of a new experience in education (college). Throughout her years at ESU, she has been passionate on health issues, particularly those that concern women and newborn babies. Her dream is to one day work in a developing country with the World Health Organization or with the United Nations, and tackle the issues that affect access to health services.
At ESU, Morabu served as a resident adviser in Hawthorn Suites, as a peer educator with the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Services on campus, and as an active member of the International Students Organization and the Diversity Committee. While at ESU she has been introduced to the different cultures represented on campus and that has been fundamental in broadening her view on what the world has to offer. Morabu is also proud of the many opportunities she has had to educate her friends at ESU about African culture.
Morabu is one of four other siblings, and although they all live in different parts of the world, her parents and siblings have been a great support system, urging her to keep moving even when situations got tough. Her experience in America has made her bolder and more confident in whatever she faces in life. She was able to complete her degree at ESU in three years, and leaves ESU ready to change the world, empowered with the education she received. Morabu’s experience at ESU has been wholesome and the memories she has made here will stay close to her heart for a long time to come.