For Kiya Kennebrew, traveling abroad wasn’t planned. At least not for long. She decided to apply for UConn’s 2014 trip to South Africa just two weeks before the deadline. “I had previously played with the idea, but never actually considered going abroad for a semester,” she said. “When asked why I wanted to go to South Africa I wholeheartedly meant everything I said. I want to make a difference. I want to learn, grow and experience the unknown.
“I thought a lot about my purpose and why I had decided to study abroad to begin with. Other than my advisor and my SSS (UConn’s Student Support Services) family pushing me to go, I wanted to study abroad to prove that it was possible. There are many young adults in both Trenton, N.J., (her hometown) and New Haven, Conn., that never get the chance to leave their birthplace, yet alone leave the country.”
Kiya did important work in Cape Town, interning three days a week with the Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women, focused on educating and advocating for the rights of women in South Africa. In her 15-week stay, she also spent time with children, including those from the Boys & Girls Club of Soweto. But she also experienced that great unknown… in the forms of para-gliding over Cape Town and riding a horse along the beach. (“Two things I could never imagine myself doing,” she said.)
In her words, the experience was “life changing.”
A rising senior at UConn, Kiya is a psychology major with a concentration in Industrial and Organization Psychology. With a focus on gender studies in the workplace and judgment and decision-making, she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in the field and become a personnel consultant.
Click here for other photos from her adventure (including riding that horse on the beach!)