I’m honored to introduce our May Graider of the Month, Oby Nwamu!
Oby graduated from Emory University this May with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She is currently enrolled in a postbaccalaureate Biomedical Science Masters program at Wake Forest, and she’ll be applying for medical school in the fall. And if that isn't impressive enough, she also found time this spring to join The Graide Network, quickly became a top-performing and versatile Graider.
While Oby has always had a passion for medicine, she’s equally passionate about education and social impact work. Oby learned about The Graide Network through a friend at Emory. She saw her grading papers one evening and was instantly intrigued. “I signed up right away because I loved the idea of working with teachers so that they, in turn, can give more attention and more feedback to students.” It was also a great learning opportunity for Oby herself. “I was really familiar with peer-editing and tutoring at the college level, so transitioning to working with middle and high school students was a big change. I realized how student performance can vary drastically across a single class, and how important it is to deliver clear, specific feedback that is personally tailored to every student. It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”
In addition to being a Graider, Oby is one of the founding members of MINA USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Syrian refugee students in the Atlanta area. MINA works in a number of ways - from tutoring Syrian ELLs to creating college application guides for high school students. While she isn’t of Syrian descent herself, Oby has a very personal connection to the work she does through MINA. Her own parents were born and raised in Nigeria. They moved to the US in their early twenties to attend college, but they had to navigate the entire process on their own. “There are so many parts of the college application process that seem easy to me - the Common App or FAFSA for instance - but for an immigrant student, it can be a really challenging process. I wanted to make that process easier so that every student can access the same educational opportunities.”
We are so grateful that Oby found time this past school year to lend her time and talent to The Graide Network in addition to all of her other academic and volunteer pursuits. Over the past few months, she has had the chance to work with both middle school and high school teachers in science and ELA courses, and teacher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. One teacher remarked: “I was most impressed at how well Oby provided feedback that referred specifically to the content in the essays. Further, she consistently connected this individualized feedback to the assignment expectations and rubric.” Thank you, Oby - we’ll miss you next school year!
Oby’s Tip for New Graiders: Closely read the prompt and rubric so you understand the expectations of the teacher, the goals for the student, and your own key focus areas. “I always focus especially close on the first three students to make sure I am applying the rubric correctly, fully understand the prompt and teacher instructions, and am beginning to pick up on class trends. It helps me move more effectively through the rest of the class.”