Return to Headlines

Odyssey Senior Georgiana Aweanung Overcomes Odds to Make Dreams Come True

Odyssey Senior Georgiana Aweanung Overcomes Odds to Make Dreams Come True

Seventeen-year-old Georgiana Aweanung isn't letting anything stand in her way as she pursues her dreams of becoming a top cyber security analyst. Originally from Cameroon, West Africa, when Georgiana was just two years old, her father escaped from Cameroon in 2004 because he was wanted by the government for fighting for human rights. Georgiana remembers her life in Cameroon, stating, "When my dad left we lived in our village (Tinechung) hiding in fear of being killed too. We depended on farm work for food."

In 2009, Georgiana's dad started the legal process to file for her mother, Georgiana and her five siblings to come to the U.S. However, when they arrived, Georgiana soon learned that life would be different for her. "When we all came, we lived in a two bedroom apartment. There was eight of us. Don't ask how we did it!" As Georgiana learned, school in her new country would be much different than in Cameroon. "First my mom dropped me off at school and I started crying 'cause I didn't know what to do. I didn't know my classes, I didn't know anything. I didn't even understand how to speak English the way people here do." After overcoming the language barrier, Georgiana soon became more familiar with school and started to impress her teachers and principal. "I was selected to share my story at my 8th grade graduation in front of all of the students, parents, and staff."

As Georgiana continued to pursue her education goals, she started to ask more questions about her options for high schools. She asked about how concurrent enrollment worked and if there was a high school she could attend where she could earn college credits because money was tight for her family and she knew college was expensive. "By the time I finished 8th grade, I had found the Wasson Campus." 

Today, Georgiana is a senior at Odyssey Early College and Career Options (ECCO). Her goal? She wants to be the world's top cyber security analyst. Georgiana is now pursuing a prestigeous full-ride scholarship called the Daniels Fund Scholarship. "When I started my application for the Daniels Fund Scholarship, at first I thought, 'They're not going to want me! I don't deserve a scholarship. I'm not as smart as other kids.'" Georgiana continues to get support from a counselor who sends her encouraging notes and motivates her to apply for the scholarship. "It's like a dream come true, for someone like me, who has come a long way to be where I am today.

This spring, Georgiana will be graduating, not one time, but two. She will have earned her high school diploma and a college associate's degree. "I'm looking forward to graduation!"

Watch the full interview with Georgiana here