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About me

My Motivation

As a homeless child in Brooklyn, New York City being raised by a single mother who herself experienced housing insecurity as a child in Lagos, Nigeria, the concept of home was extremely obscure. I felt dually cut off – not having a place in Brooklyn, but also not having a physical connection with Nigeria, a country that I had never been to as a child but always felt drawn to. Issues around identity and belonging persisted, and as I developed, I have come to understand how intricately linked these are with conceptions of home.


Through my period of housing insecurity, the only constant for me was school. Education functioned as a secure base for me and helped mitigate the unfortunate reality my young mind could not comprehend at the time. My love for education remained as I transitioned into adulthood, and at age 19, I began my first job working as a tutor for homeless students in Brooklyn.


The combination of personal and professional experience has shaped my intellectual agenda in a distinctive way. I view my research as an act of service to young people and to the organizations that seek to support them. The ability to connect on multiple levels with the population I work with has a significant role to play in the cultivation of my research agenda— I do not subscribe to the notion of scholarly objectivity as defined by social and emotional distance, especially with work that seeks to support the historically marginalized and underserved. Academic rigor is compatible with empathy.



Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University (Expected June 2025)

M.S. Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, University of Pennsylvania, 2020

M.S. in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership,  University of Pennsylvania, 2020

B.A. in Secondary Education: English, affiliation with Africana Studies, CUNY Brooklyn College, 2018

Grants and Awards (Selected)

International Research Travel Award, Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, Northwestern University, 2024

  • $9,000 in funds awarded for international dissertation research.

Hans A. Panofsky Award, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, 2023

  • $4,000 in funds awarded to help fund short-term visits to prospective field sites and research institutions in Africa, where students can evaluate research opportunities, consult with scholars, increase their competency in an African language, arrange for institutional affiliation, or undertake pre-dissertation research.

Northwestern-Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program, 2022

  • 1 of 6 awardees selected from a pool of graduate students from across the university to participate in interdisciplinary faculty-led workshops toward pre-dissertation research. Awardees were supported by a $4,000 grant for summer research.

Davenport Family Foundation Endowed Scholarship Recipient, 2018-2019

  • Scholarship awarded to support graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

CUNY Brooklyn College

  • Honors Academy: Scholars Program, 2017-2018

  • The Pearl Olitsky Marcus ’38 and Henry Marcus Prize in English Education, 2018

  • Special Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution to the English Department, 2018

  • J. Robert Loy Memorial Scholarship, 2017

Speaking Engagements


Kids Innovation Challenge Demo-day Tech Showcase. Co-host. Live Event in Lagos Nigeria hosted by The Destiny Trust Children Foundation. September 2023

Children between the age of 13-17 across Nigeria were invited to pitch their innovative technology solutions to some of Nigeria’s most pressing issues around education, healthcare, food insecurity, and child malnutrition. After submission, the students were interviewed and their projects evaluated. Seven finalists emerged with the opportunity to present their innovation before a panel of judges and a live audience in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Study Group on the Homeless. Guest Speaker. Group Session hosted by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Northwestern University. April 2023

This session featured a discussion on my research and experience with homelessness to a group of learners participating in a study group on homelessness. I also provided insight into topics for further study within the group followed by an engaging Q&A session. The Osher Lifeling Learning Institute is a vibrant member-driven program of Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies.

Building Strategic Relationships. Session Facilitator. Webinar hosted by The Breach Repairers. November 2022

In this webinar, I facilitated a session with Nigerian teenagers on the importance of building strategic relationships and techniques they can use as they navigate social connections. The Breach Repairers is a youth development organization based in Oyo State, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Rethinking Inclusive Education in Nigeria. Panel Chair. Webinar hosted by The Destiny Trust Children Foundation. May 2022

The discussion featured academics, practitioners, and students and included topics such as examining the capacity for tech-inclusive education in Nigeria, the role of private innovations in the Nigerian education sector, how to deal with the stigma of disability in education, over-age students and accelerated learning curricula, and how to account for multiple intelligences in the classroom. 


Northwestern University Graduate Student Spotlight, 2022

Here, I was featured in the TGS Spotlight series which highlights exceptional graduate students across Northwestern University. 

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