International student strives to help her community

By Victoria De Souza

Lucy Kayiuki is pursuing her passion for the medical field to have an impactful change in her community.

Kayiuki lived in Kenya with her mother and two younger brothers until she received an opportunity to obtain her associate’s degree in nursing at South Plains College. 

Kayiuki is the first person in her family to go to college. Prior to coming to SPC, she studied for two years at Kenyatta University.

Kayiuki began by pursuing a medical degree, but she started facing a rough time in following up with the medical school in Kenya. 

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Lucy Kayiuki is a first-generation college student from
 Kenya.
VICTORIA DE SOUZA/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“School became a little crazy, and I had to take a break for a while,” Kayiuki recalls.

After taking a break from school, Kayiuki saw the opportunity to explore the medical field by studying nursing. With the help of some family friends from Lubbock, Texas, she was introduced to SPC.

“I heard about SPC because I had some friends that attended the school,” said Kayiuki, “and they all said that it is a very good school, and that I should give a try.”

In 2017, she moved to the United States to enroll in college. She said that she is very grateful for the opportunity of going back to school and looks forward to future opportunities to follow up with her college career before returning home.

“I hope to receive opportunities, like scholarships, to continue my education in the United States so I can transfer back to medical school,” Kayiuki said.

Her career goal is to be able to help her home country to improve its medical resources.

As an international student, Kayiuki also goes through a hard time being away from her family.

“I miss having my mom and my brothers around, and my community,” said Kayiuki. “I also miss a lot of our food. They taste so different from the ones here.” 

Her family is an important reason to keep her motivated and keep moving forward while pursuing her career. 

“It is hard being away from my family,” explains Kayiuki, “and I receive a lot of support from my family and my friends. We always challenge ourselves to improve and reach our goals. Also, I want to set a good role model for my two younger brothers.”

This semester, Kayiuki began serving as a residence hall advisor at the Smallwood Apartments on the Levelland campus.

“This job has been very good for me,” said Kayiuki. “It has given me the opportunity to improve my social skills because I have to interact with the residents. Also, it has helped me a lot in developing better time management and leadership skills that I will use after I graduate.”

Despite managing a busy schedule between her classes and working, Kayiuki still finds free time for her friends and hobbies.

“I love singing,” Kayiuki said. “I was in a singing group back home, and every time I go back, I try to go visit them. Now I am working to learn to play guitar, and this has been a very fun experience.”