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Fifty-Ninth Commencement



Meet Members of the Class of 2024

Audu Etsegbe Kadiri


Class of 2024
Audu Etsegbe Kadiri

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Audu Etsegbe Kadiri worked as a public health advocate, providing HIV education and services to homosexual men. However, his life was upended in 2014 when Nigeria passed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which criminalized same-sex relationships and imposed severe penalties on supporters. The penalties called for up to fourteen years imprisonment for those found guilty and ten years for anyone discovered supporting them.

"My life became threatened by homophobic extremists who believed I was aiding and abetting gay men, forcing me to flee the country for my safety," Audu said.

Audu discovered Kingsborough Community College while seeking asylum in the United States. The college's associate degree in criminal justice aligned with his goal of furthering his education and becoming a community organizer and public health advocate.

Married with three children, Audu had to quickly learn how to balance school, work, and family. "Juggling school work with taking care of my family and my job was incredibly demanding," he said. "However, I was mentally prepared for these challenges because I knew what to expect before I started."

Audu believes that the supportive environment at KCC is the reason for his success. "The abundant resources available to students were astonishing, especially compared to where I came from, where such resources are scarce," he said. In reference to the dedication of professors and fellow students, he says, "This support system played a significant role in my academic success." His determination to succeed ultimately led him to becoming a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Trevaughn Hall, Audu's ASAP advisor, was a huge influence during his time at KCC. "He was incredibly helpful and supportive in addressing any challenges or questions I had," Audu said.

After graduating with honors in January, Audu is now pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services and community justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

He advises incoming students to keep their ultimate goal in mind. ”Challenges are inevitable, but dedication and keen focus will lead to success. Utilizing all available resources within the school system is crucial for navigating college life effectively. Although the journey may be challenging, it will undoubtedly be rewarding in the end."

"Kingsborough has given me many good memories," he reflected. "The beautiful ocean scenery, supportive professors, and friendly students all make the school a desirable place to be."

Audu’s primary goal is to make a positive impact on the world, and part of that journey is to continue pursuing his education. "I am considering a career in social work and community development because of my experience as a public health advocate and community organizer. I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and realize their potential."

His path to a college degree has been marked by courage, perseverance, and a commitment to helping others. Adu currently works as the Program Manager for DSI International,  a non-profit organization based in Queens. “I help immigrants integrate smoothly,  by connecting them to life-saving services they need to thrive in the United States,” he said. “Ten years from now, I aspire to lead an international nonprofit organization that provides life-saving services and support to people in need, especially those who are vulnerable.”