Victoria Yeboah SAS'13, majoring in Social Work, has been named the 2013 Student of the Year by the Westchester Division of the National Association of Social Workers.
Yeboah, who was recently one of six CNR students to receive a 2012 Ursuline Education Award for Service, will be celebrated, along with other honorees, at the group's annual awards dinner on March 21.
During her field placement at the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle, Yeboah facilitated educational groups for at-risk kids age 6 to 8, and helped provide individual counseling to at-risk teens. She also helps counsel adults, teens, and children at My Sister's Place, a New Rochelle nonprofit dedicated to victims of domestic violence.
Yeboah also organized a Sunday school for younger children, and a support group for teenagers, at Bethel Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn.
The Ghana native came to the United States in 2001, from her hometown of Koforidua, in pursuit of an education. After passing the GED exam, she enrolled in Nassau Community College in 2006, initially seeking a degree in nursing, but completing an associate's degree in Human Services in 2010 after recognizing her passion for social work.
Yeboah enrolled in The College of New Rochelle in 2011, inspired by her childhood in Africa. In second grade, she visited a poverty-stricken village and saw a child wearing one of her favorite dresses, donated by her mother. "This is where I developed the desire to help others," she said. "There was no need for my mother to say anything more."
Yeboah also credits the chair of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Judith Gordon. "She was amazing and warm, and I felt very welcomed," she said. "As soon as I finished talking to her, I said, that's it. I'm doing this. This is where I belong."
Yeboah has been active in the College Community, getting involved in the Student Government Association and serving as a student representative to the Social Work Program Advisory Board. She is a resident assistant in Ursula Hall.
Yeboah, whose husband is serving in the U.S. Navy, plans to enter the U.S. Army after graduation, learn more about Veterans Affairs, pursue graduate studies -- perhaps a law degree -- and open a private practice to advocate for those in need.
Top: Victoria Yeboah and Tina Atherall, director of the Westchester Division of the National Association of Social Workers; above: Victoria Yeboah and other award recipients.