Hostos Student Ambassador
Oyamiwa Walker was born and raised in "the City of Brotherly Love" Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up, Oyamiwa dreamt of going to college to study dance, because as a child she had a natural gift for movement that she truly wanted to explore. However, before she had the chance to pursue her studies and a career in dance, she had her first child, Brandi. Oyamiwa’s desire to study dance never left her heart though, however she did not purse it again until after marriage, when she decided to relocate to Georgia, after she had her second daughter, Chavon.
Once she settled down, Oyamiwa studied once a week for a year in a community dance class in Georgia and then was asked to become a member of a West African Dance company. It was through her membership in that company that she was offered the rare opportunity to teach dance and study dance abroad. Studying dance abroad became a vision for her future and altered her sense of self and her perspective on the world. She lived in Ghana, West African for four months and studied at the University of Legon as well as teaching and studying with the community dance companies. While living in Ghana, Oyamiwa was afforded the opportunity to travel to Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal.
Upon her return to the United States, having fulfilled some of her dreams and facing some of the realities of the world outside of the one she had grown up in, Oyamiwa decided that there was still one dream that she wanted to accomplish, which was to go to college and study dance. With two adult children off to college, Oyamiwa decided that the best place to pursue a life of dance was in New York City and so she moved back to New York City and enrolled in the City University of New York. Hostos Community College was not where she planned to attend, because there was no dance program at Hostos. However, after one semester of study at the college, Oyamiwa fell in love with the community, the cultural diversity and the people who make up the Hostos family.
In the winter of 2011, Oyamiwa attended the Hostos Student Leadership Academy’s Winter Workshop Series, where she heard about the Academy and all the opportunities that are available to its members and she decided to make a commitment and join. In early 2011, Oyamiwa became a member of the Hostos Emerging Leaders Program and after a semester as part of the group she was promoted to the position of Hostos Student Ambassador. Over the course of her time as a member of the Academy, Oyamiwa has participated in the CUNY Emerging Leaders Conference and worked as a mentor in the Leadership Academy Office. She has devoted herself to causes in the community and volunteered to beautify local parks, feed the hungry and the homeless and paint murals in low-income neighborhoods, to bring some color and vitality to places that might otherwise not be able to experience art.
Oyamiwa was part of the second group of student leaders and student leader athletes to participate in the Hosts Athletic Leaders Organization Retreat, where she volunteered to lead an early morning African Dance class, which has led to her working with the Office of Athletics to develop some African Dance programming at the college.
Among her accolades, Oyamiwa has been awarded the first ever Josephine Aguado Scholarship for single mothers from the Circle of 100 Foundation and Bill Aguado. She was one of a group of students selected to study abroad this past summer in Cuba, where Oyamiwa had a unique experience with the cultural dance that exists in that part of the world.
Oyamiwa has also been selected to serve as a member of the Ernesto Malave LeadershipAcademy’s CUNY Corps Program, which is a unique service based leadership program,which allows students from all of the colleges of CUNY to come together and work on social problems through service based initiatives.
Oyamiwa’s first daughter, Brandi, is now 30 years old, her second daughter, Chavon is now 20 years old and is currently attending college In Georgia. Oyamiwa says that her daughters have been the most inspiring forces in her life and have helped her to continue to move towards her dreams. She will be graduating from Hostos in January of 2013 with plans to obtain a BFA in Dance/Theater and a Master’s Degree in Dance Therapy.