Fatimata Diabate recently earned her bachelor’s in Public Health. Born in the United States, she spent part of her childhood in West Africa, returning to start school at age 8. Diabate was first rejected by Montclair but called to ask what she could do to make herself a better candidate. Her persistence landed her a spot in the Educational Opportunity Fund program – as the first member of her family to step foot on a college campus.
Diabate was a student speaker at the three ceremonies for the College of Education and Human Services.
“As I reflect on my college experience, I think of the phrase, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” Diabate told graduates Thursday, July 23. “For when I first came to the College of Education and Human Services, I was indeed a child, without a clue, lacking important academic skills. And now, as I leave, I am a young woman who, with the help of professors, advisors, deans, fellow students and so many others – and a lot of hard work – has found her voice, has learned to trust her thoughts and has a lot to say.”