Commencement 2022 Student Speaker Princilia Kiabanzawoko

Princilia Kiabanzawoko posted on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in  Alumni Profiles

No matter what life threw at her, Princilia Kiabanzawoko never lost sight of her dream of obtaining an education.

Born and raised in Congo, Africa, Princilia came to the United States with her family in 2016, hoping for a better life. Her uncle suggested they come to Waterloo, so they moved to Iowa with little more than the belongings that could fit in a suitcase.

Not speaking or understanding English, Princilia enrolled in Waterloo Schools. As a freshman at West High, she took English classes and spent free time listening to music and watching movies to better understand the language.

In May of 2020, she reached her first goal and earned her high school diploma. Princilia wanted to pursue a career in teaching young children and set her goals of earning a college education and enrolled at Hawkeye Community College.

During her studies at Hawkeye, Princilia worked hard and continued to learn English to improve her speaking, comprehension, and writing skills. Self-conscious of her English skills, she feared talking to others and became determined to speak English fluently. She balanced school with working a part-time job, to pay for her college tuition.

She graduates with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Hawkeye. She plans to continue her education to earn her bachelor’s degree and become a preschool teacher.


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