Before she was born, Nayo’s parents immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone in West Africa. At that time, the country was engaged in a brutal civil war. In eighth grade, Nayo lead an initiative to adopt a school in Sierra Leone, and helped organize a drive to collect used backpacks and school supplies for the students at that school. In 2009, after the country had stabilized, she had the opportunity to visit Sierra Leone. Her experience there compelled her to start the Change for Teens foundation, whose mission is to cultivate awareness and action in order to address poverty and promote literacy among teens on a community and global level.
Her work with the foundation includes directing projects that involve more than 100 students from four different high schools. The community projects include holding food and clothing drives, holiday events, and tutoring programs for local shelters. The foundation has also conducted a workshop at a veteran’s shelter, where they assisted veterans with creating resumes, applying for jobs online, and conducting mock interviews. Internationally, Nayo conducted a children’s book drive, which raised more than 1,000 books that were donated to two primary schools in West Africa. She also established a scholarship fund, raising more than $2,000 for tuition, books, and uniforms for seven female students in West Africa who would not have had access to basic education. Nayo reflects upon her efforts: “As teens, these experiences of serving others have enriched our lives in a meaningful and purposeful way.” Please visit the website for Nayo’s foundation at ChangeForTeens.org.
Nayo has applied for admission at Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, USC, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. She has already been accepted at UC Riverside and Howard University. She plans to major in human biology and ecology, with the goal of going to medical school and then volunteering with Doctors Without Borders. She would eventually like to work for the World Health Organization. “I am indeed grateful to Cappex for the assistance it provided me in my college search,” Nayo says, “and of course for the opportunity to apply and win a scholarship.”
Please join us in congratulating Nayo!