Latifatou Savadogo

Latifatou Savadogo

UWC attended: United World College Changshu (China)
Class Year: Class of 2024

It’s November 2017. Teachers are striking because of low salary, poor conditions of work. Students in public schools like me do not have classes. Every single day of November has been the same. No teacher, no classes. I started thinking, crying and asking to myself, would that be a blank year, would I be good enough to pass my national exam next year? What if I need to retake grade 11 again and lose one year? Uncertainties and uncertainties. Like a miracle, I heard about UWC on October 12th. Applications have started and close on October 15th at 12 pm GMT. I have three days to complete my application and to find all the required financial documents. Was that possible? I did not have the answer. I submitted my application on October 15th at 11h58 pm GMT with a lot of mistakes and some missing documents. For me UWC was not a dream school, I did not know a lot about it and I was barely believing that UWC even existed as we heard some fake news about scholarships in my country a lot. I was just applying to apply because I did not have classes. One month had passed since my application and no news. Teachers were still on strike. I decided to forget about UWC and to start selling potatoes chips, which was going well. Since my small business was going well, I did not realize that time was passing so fast. Then it was January 12th, 2018 and I received a message updating me about my UWC application. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I thought it was a joke since I was even supposed to go to China and I decided to not believe until February when the UWC national committee in Burkina Faso called me for a meeting. That’s where my UWC journey started.

I only have one word to describe my experience at UWC: incredible. Coming from nothing to gain everything is what I call amazing. I discovered technology, I learned how to speak English, I learned about hundreds of culture and countries, I learned to dream, I learned that nothing is impossible, I learned to be confident and to be the better version of myself. It’s just fabulous.

My story with Lewis and Clark is a love story. I fell in love with Lewis and Clark. Portland is a beautiful city and has great vegetation. The location of the campus perfectly matches my expectation to be in contact with nature and to breathe real fresh air as China has been filling me up with a lot of polluted air these last two years. The diversity of academics, students and activities seduced me, too. The coronavirus situation helped me reflect a lot on my country’s economic situation and so I decided to major in economics and entrepreneurial leadership. I believe that Lewis and Clark’s famous economic department will provide me with all the necessary skills to begin my journey in the real world as a leader full of mindfulness and great skills. I love socialization, kids and nature a lot and most of my hobbies are related to that like babysitting, walking, dancing, NGO projects, community discussions, etc. I hope that in Lewis and Clark’s welcoming community I will create strong friendships and I will feel at home and fully enjoy my time. This seems to be a long journey but I am ready to take the next step.

Always remember to dream big, believe in what you are doing and never say “I can’t do it”. You have to fight for what you want and your skin color should not define who you are and what you want in life.