Yetunde Oyenuga '13 is currently a first-year at Wellesley College. This past summer, she was an Emerging Leader co-leading the Women in the Media Community Action Project. She was this year's Hector Negron Award winner for the young person who most supported other young people's growth and development.
What is your favorite memory of The City School?
Freedom Stories. Being able to hear people's stories and how they managed to overcome their challenges was and always will be the most inspiring. I have made so many wonderful memories at The City School and it was tough picking just one because it is a place I consider a second home. I hope I will continue to make more memories there because it is a place I never want to part with, no matter where I go in life.
How have you changed because of your first summer of SLP?
SLP changed me in numerous ways, but the biggest change was in my ability to lead. Before SLP, I was extremely shy, with little to no knowledge of the social justice cause. Because of this, I never pictured myself ever being the one to go up and teach about one of the -isms. It was something I thought was a little impossible and beyond me, but I am glad I was wrong. After just one summer of SLP, I found something in me I didn't even know existed. Although I do still struggle with public speaking, I was able to find the courage to voice my opinions on subjects I felt passionate about; some of those include racism, sexism, and heterosexism.
How have you continued your commitment to social justice beyond SLP?
Throughout the rest of my life, I hope to keep bringing to light the issues of injustices we still face as a society. There are various issues I want to help fight against, but I can only do so much myself. As a leader, I will be the voice of reason when many are quick to degrade women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and many more. I will listen to what they say and will continue to question why people think the way they do. From there, I will try my best to educate them by giving them a different perspective on certain issues.
What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I want to become a doctor. What I do know is that I would love to connect my love for the medical field with my love for social justice. I have yet to figure out how I will go about doing so, but when I do, I am sure it will be amazing. These two things are what I consider to be very important parts of my life and I want others to share the same love for them as I do.
If you could have coffee with one social justice activist, who would it be and why?
Do I have to pick just one? Could I have coffee with all of them? If I really had to pick one person, it would probably be Harvey Milk, although he isn't really that big of an historical figure. I watched his movie about two years ago and his message just before he died touched me. I remember being class trying to hold back tears because I almost broke down. For me, the whole idea of belonging, finding a place where I could be myself was extremely difficult, so when his message played and I saw what he did, and allowed, for many members of the LGBTQ community, I couldn't help but cry. I want to just have a conversation with him, because his death, like the death of many powerful social justice activist, was unjust. If I could bring them all back to life I would, but because I can't I want to help continue their legacy.
Profile Created September 2014