Liza Clairagneau

UWC attended: United World College Robert Bosch College (Germany)
Class Year: Class of 2021

I am Liza Clairagneau, a Rwandan Robert Bosch College ’17 graduate. I have grown up in Rwanda and first lived outside of it when I went to study at UWCRBC in Germany. During my UWC experience, I loved the endless learning opportunities I was given.  Learning either from friends and acquaintances about their lives, human decency, social justice and how to be a better person or the academic opportunities from teachers who truly cared and encouraged us to learn. I especially loved the weird places and times where the learning opportunities took places: at 2:00 AM in common rooms, in the middle of the school clothes store at 9:00 PM and then invading a teacher’s office with questions

After my UWC experience, I knew I wanted to go to a college that empowered their students to do something for a better world. Lewis and Clark was one of the schools our university adviser told me consider. With its education degree(s) and the devotion to service, I later realized that Lewis and Clark was the school for me.

At this point in my life, I want to work in education with young people to help change the world for the better. I believe teaching and education systems are two core ways to change the world and reach a just one. I also believe in the power of young people whose hearts are untouched by cruelty and evil and I want to work with them to harness that power and help them become the powerful people they are meant to be.

Outside of academic interests, I love poetry and most forms of arts. I used to do visual arts and exchange poems with my English teacher. I love reading young adults novels, my current favorite books are ‘I’ll give you the sun’ and ‘On the perks of being a wallflower’ for their powerful language. I love long deep talks, preferably accompanied with tea, learning more about social justice, being an empathetic ear, empowerment and Harry Potter.

Interestingly enough, I sometimes feel like I have more than one life in me. There are so many things I want to do and not enough space to do those without one version of me living in the shadow of another.

I want to be Dumbledore, guiding people to better days (and orchestrating the downfall of evil) and reminding them of the importance of turning on the light, but I also want to be an auror fighting against cruelty and evil on the front lines. I want to settle somewhere, become local to an international village and start a coffee shop where people can learn about the wonders of the world and interact with people from other sides of the world, but I also want to live in different places and learn how to live in all of them. All these people are people that I want to be, but their lives are very different and I have my doubts about doing all of that. I feel like Lewis and Clark is going to help me figure out exactly which one to be or how to be more than one of them and a better me.