Outstanding Grad: Abi Tekeste

Abi TekesteAbighail Tekeste

Degrees: International Studies and Political Science

Minor: Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Abi Tekeste (she/her) has been recommended as an Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts by Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures Andrea Purdy. Most notably, Abi is dedicated to learning about herself, her community and she loves making connections. She is a person who appreciates and values her education and wants to leave her mark wherever she goes.

Learn more about Abi below:

1. Why did you choose to study at CSU?

“I initially chose CSU due to the institutional financial support provided, and as a first-generation student from a low-income family, it was important to not place financial burdens on my family. However, I chose to stay at CSU because of the community here. Although CSU is a relatively big school, it was so easy to make it feel small with the friendship and relationships that I fostered and continue to grow here. I have learned so many things here that apply to my personal and professional journey which I know will contribute to my role in our world.”

2. How has your background shaped your experience here at CSU, and what advice would you give to students of similar identities?

“Having immigrated to the US when I was 15, my experiences have played a prominent role in my studies. I know the value of cross-cultural experiences in today’s world and my experience here has allowed me to be able to articulate and utilize my experiences while also being able to grow my passion more, beyond just learning in a classroom to studying abroad. My advice to students who may have limiting backgrounds is to take advantage of every opportunity. I was able to have so many experiences and accomplishments in my short four years here due to the resources available and how I used them to my advantage.”

3. What accomplishments from your educational career at CSU are you most proud of? How were you able to accomplish those things?

“One of my biggest accomplishments was to be able to attend all four years without paying anything, thanks to the scholarships I was awarded. Because of the lifted financial burdens, I have been able to excel in my academic and social life. Throughout campus, I have made different impacts in my role as an Admissions Ambassador, advocating for equity in higher education through college tours aimed at exposure as well as my role as a Peer Advisor with Education Abroad allowing me to be a mentor to a community that has made me who I am. I have also been able to participate in our CSU community as a Student Government Senator for the Black and African American Cultural Center (B/AACC) and present research in Celebrate Undergraduate Research & Creativity (CURC).”

4. What has been the most challenging aspect of your educational career so far? How have you overcome those difficulties?

“The most challenging aspect would probably be maintaining the discipline that it takes to successfully finish each semester. I have learned that it is (relatively) easy to get into college but staying here is where the challenge truly lies. It is necessary to have motivating factors that will allow you to be disciplined enough to show up and do it genuinely. Again, for me, my family is my motivating factor and always keeping that in mind has been the push that I need to discipline myself in how I show up to my commitments.”

5. What are your post-graduation plans and goals?

“My current plans are to get my Masters in International Development with a goal to work in the international sector.”