Koye Oputa - Johns Hopkins University
"Always looking to engage her peers in order to increase the impact of service, Koye has demonstrated a strong capacity for mentoring others by encouraging and supporting fellow Hopkins' students in their civic engagement efforts...Koye shares our university's commitment to serving our city and helping to address the social, economic, and health inequalities that burden far too many communities....[Her] academic pursuits in cognitive science and psychology, paired with her many extra-curricular activities, allow her to bring a nuanced understanding of diverse perspectives and experiences to all she undertakes."
Dr. Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University
I was taught that doing good has no clear job title, but it’s a clear mission. It leads you to whatever roles allow you to best share your gifts, privileges, and resources with those who can most benefit from them.
The summer of 2021, that role was an internship through the Community Impact Internships Program (CIIP) at Hopkins. I worked with the Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Central Alliance, and the Intercultural Counseling Connection to provide personalized problem-solving and emergency assistance to newcomers in Baltimore City. Here I learned that supporting a community often means supporting individuals, each with their unique needs. The summer of 2022, that role was a special education aide for Baltimore City Public Schools, again through CIIP. Here I learned more about America's disenfranchisement of black children, especially black boys, with developmental disorders.
Being in CIIP has filled my time in Baltimore with people who have mentored me, corrected me, and modeled thoughtful, impactful service before me. In gratitude, I have returned for a 3rd year as CIIP Program Assistant, so I can support other Hopkins students in their civic engagement journeys. My experiences with CIIP have informed other roles along the way—from my time as the 2021-2022 African Students Association’s Community Service & Fundraising Chair, to researching Autism Spectrum Disorder at Kennedy Krieger Institute, to being a listening ear, and more.
As my communities have made space for me to be a meaningful contributor, I have come to recognize my growing capacity to make positive impacts—and to make harmful ones, if I do not remain a conscientious learner.
This is why I’ve sought to join the 2023-2024 Transform Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellow Cohort: to remain mindful of what it means to effectively contribute to a community, as I pursue my goal of doing good.
2023-2024 Transform Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellow