Meet Hawa Kaba, Biology Major, TRiO Graduate

Hawa is a Sierra College Graduate and former TRiO member

Meet Hawa Kaba, Sierra College Alumna and TRiO graduate. She came to this country from Mali, West Africa in 2012. At Sierra College, she learned English and majored in biology. Now, she's majoring in global disease biology at UC Davis and plans on becoming a doctor.

If you’d like to share, let us know what your name means or who you were named after.
My name is Hawa Kaba. Hawa means “The Mother of Mankind” in Islam, as I am Muslim.
What was your major? What do you hope to do now that you’ve graduated?
My major was biology at Sierra College. I am continuing as a global disease biology major at UC Davis with the goal of becoming a physician at the end of my studies.
While you were at Sierra, did you do any extracurriculars?
At Sierra, I was engaged in the Umoja and TRiO clubs.
I understand you are an immigrant. If you'd like, tell us about your experience. Where are you from, and what was it like moving to a new country and learning a new language?
I came from Mali, West Africa in 2012. I started learning English with ESL classes at Sierra College all the way to English 1B.
Learning English was not a piece of cake, but I use a fixed goal every semester to become a better speaker. Even though in Mali we have different cultures compared to the USA, I have learned to embrace the new cultures as well.
What Sierra teacher was most influential to you? What did they do and how did they help you?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Tonya N. Times. She is a great teacher, wonderful counselor and an amazing person. Mrs. Tonya made me feel home at Sierra College.
She supported and guided me through my years at Sierra. She taught me to always set a high bar for myself. I never left her office without a smile, a hug and a great vision for my future. I will never forget about her.
What’s your best Sierra College memory?
My best memories are from my TRiO graduation to my Sierra graduation. I finally was able to see the result of my three years of work.
From teachers to peer students, it was only proudness and happiness.
How did TRiO help you graduate from Sierra College?
TRiO helped me in my classes. They helped me with my books and anything related to my success at Sierra College, everything from notebooks to calculators. They also supported me with frequent counseling. My counselor Kara Perry assisted me with my UC applications through the TRiO workshops. She also reviewed my essays. 
What is unique about your experience as a TRiO student that you could share that might help another student feel like they could also achieve their goals at Sierra?
To the future TRiO students, I want to encourage them to attend regular counseling sessions and follow the activities proposed by the club.
I would advise them to use the free tutoring that TRiO offers and the school supplies that they provide.
TRiO can answer any question that you might have. The staff at TRiO will always make you feel comfortable, and they will be as efficient as they can.
Last, be gentle to your peers at TRiO. They might follow the same path as you. 
What are you going to miss most about TRiO?
I'm really going to miss the whole TRiO staff and the early enrollment offered by TRiO. 
What’s your favorite book, TV show, or movie? What character is the most like you?
My favorite book is "The Belly of the Atlantic" by Fatou Diome. It is about a fearless, independent woman who tells the story of immigration without sugar-coating it.
My favorite TV Show is “Being Mary Jane” because she is a complicated and smart woman.
My favorite movie is “Kirikou” about a little boy without limits. I am still figuring out which character is most like me. 

Thanks Hawa! We wish you a lot of success in your studies!

TRiO Helps Students Overcome Barriers to Higher Education

TRiO Student Support Services is a counseling program for first-generation and low-income students. TRiO offers an array of support services, information, and motivation to its students. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and stay connected to all things TRiO!

TRiO: Learn More