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Cecil Ehirindu



Cecil Ehirindu
Bachelor of Science, Psychology
From Lewisville, Texas

My Sooner Legacy...
It boils down to two things: representation and trailblazing. Representation comes down to my many identities such as being Nigerian, African American, first-generation, and low-income. I hope to inspire those who share any of my identities to be empowered in spaces that weren’t originally designed for them. Trailblazing because of the path I have created for those to follow, not only to copy, but to be empowered to forge their own path at OU. 


This degree means breaking generational curses by being the first in my family to graduate college and to do so in four years means even more. As a first-generation and low-income student, I have faced adversity in my life. Each trial only strengthened me to do what I knew I could, which is graduate college with honors and to excel outside the classroom setting. My future children will not have to face the same struggles I have had to face, and I can be there for them by sharing my experiences.


The space OU has created for me. This is a space that has allowed me to see my friends, to go on walks, and to take late night trips for food when we should probably be in bed. The memories I have created here are in its most authentic form, the best memories of my life. OU is the school you go to if you want to find a circle of genuine people who support you through thick and thin. I have been fortunate enough to find a community that loves me and for that, I am forever grateful.

The Best Lesson OU Gave Me

The most important thing I will take from my tIme at the university is the ability to be uncomfortable. As a first-generation college student who had no clue what college was like and had never stepped foot on a college campus before my first semester, I was petrified and felt as if I made a mistake. Fast forward four years later, and I have embraced the fact that because I was uncomfortable, I could reach new levels of comfortability. This allowed me to grow in maturity and intelligence and helped me understand what it means to allow yourself compassion and grace during this time. 


OU has allowed me the experiences to travel, present research, meet new people, and most importantly, shape my career path. OU allowed me the avenue to obtain an internship last summer with Columbia University Medical Center, where I was a scholar in the Summer Public Health Scholars Program. It showed me that there are steps I can take before medical or law school, and one of thsoe steps is receiving my master’s.

What comes next

I am attending the Yale University School of Public Health to obtain a master’s with a focus in the social and behavioral sciences department on a full ride scholarship.