Afi Tagnedji, a UofL freshman from Louisville, was recently named the recipient of the Brice Simpson Memorial Scholarship from the Community Foundation of Louisville.
Tagnedji, who was the valedictorian of her class at Iroquois High School, was born “in a village somewhere in the mountains of Todome, Togo.”
“My parents said I have had it better than most. By ‘most,’ they mean the thousands of orphans like them and the starving families back home they left behind in search of a better life for me and my brother,” she told the foundation.
Tagnedji said her story, however, is not a “zero to hero story, just the life of a young black immigrant, who moved across nations for better opportunities.”
Tagnedji describes herself as ambitious, competitive and competent. She also describes her leadership skills as “exceptional” thanks to her years of experience as commander of JROTC, student body president and captain of various sports teams.
“I always aim for the top because that’s where I want to be,” she said. “I never quit my post, I always adapt. My tenacity and commitment are unyielding.”
Tagnedji’s goal is to work with Doctors Without Borders and one day work with the World Health Organization.
“I want to go back home and improve living conditions for my family as well, maybe build a hospital or a school,” she said. “I want to change the world.”
Photo by Caleb Perry Photography.