Megumi Kivuva, Class of 2018

Megumi Kivuva, Class of 2018, joined the Ellis community in ninth grade and has since been an active member of Sisterhood, Student Council, and the Ellis Athletic Association. During her time in the Upper School, Megumi performed on stage in musicals, ran track and field, and sang in the Glee Club. As the 2017 recipient of the Marcie WATERMAN Love ’56 International Travel Grant for the Global Empowerment of Women and Girls, Megumi traveled to Nicaragua and Cuba the summer before her senior year to explore the connection between art and social change. Next year, Megumi will attend Bard College in New York where she will work towards becoming an engineer.
What is your best Ellis memory?
My best Ellis memory is the Upper School musical last year, Pippin. I had never been cast in a role outside of the ensemble before, and in Pippin I had a supporting role. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could do it, I was very, very nervous! I love theater and I wanted to do the role justice. It was tough, especially managing school work alongside rehearsals. But in the end, I learned a lot about myself: how to memorize lines, how to work with a cast, and how to make a musical happen with the materials you have.

What have you learned about leadership as an Ellis student?
That there are so many different ways to lead and be a leader. You can be a leader even if you’re not the loudest person in the front of the room. You can lead by just being you.

How did your travel abroad experience in Nicaragua and Cuba last summer influence you?
My abroad experience taught me to question everything. Thanks to the Marcie WATERMAN Love ’56 International Travel Grant for the Global Empowerment of Women and Girls, my eyes are now open in the best possible way. Being able to experience two new countries without the financial burden of travel was an unforgettable experience. I hope to study abroad in college and hopefully go back to Nicaragua one day. I would definitely recommend this opportunity and that Ellis students apply for the grant!

What is your favorite class in school?
Spanish with Mr. Gaddess. I enjoy speaking the language and learning about the culture. I plan to continue studying Spanish in college.

How do you spend your free time?
Binge-watching Netflix. I just finished Orange is the New Black! The acting is amazing.

How would you describe yourself in three words.
Determined. Passionate. Happy.

What woman inspires you and why?
My mother. To me, she is basically superwoman! I don’t know how she manages to get everything done that she does in 24 hours. She’s bold and strong and speaks her mind. She stands her ground and is a constant source of inspiration as I learn how to advocate for myself.

If you could interview anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
James Baldwin, he's the only author who can keep my attention span for seven books! His characters are anything but one dimensional. As an African American, openly gay man in the 1960s, his words on race relations are still applicable and powerful today. His stories don’t always have a happy ending, or necessarily even a true ending, but I am in awe of his writing.

What is the last book you read?
When We Rise by Cleve Jones

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I would absolutely love to go to India.
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