HOMETOWN: Nairobi, Kenya
ETHNICITY: African- Kenyan
EDUCATION: High School Diploma, Doherty Memorial High school [High Honors]
Janet Wanjiku was born in Kenya and came to the United States with her mother and sister in 2001. They arrived with the vision of building a bright, new future, but due to domestic issues, Janet and her sister found themselves in foster care and later in a guardianship. Despite her tragic childhood, however, Janet did not give up. She approached everything in her life with great zeal and became an active member in her school, church and community.
Driven by her perfectionist nature and the encouragement of her new family, Janet excelled throughout her academic career as a hardworking student and passionate leader in student initiatives. By her junior year in high school, she was first in class ranks and president of a student formed action team in her school. She was also a member of National Honor Society, a Questbridge College- Prep Scholar, and National Achievement Scholarship Outstanding Participant. During her high school career, Janet was also selected to participate in the Holy Cross Gifted High School Students Program, in which she discovered her love of neuroscience. In addition, she was one of a handful of students chosen to serve in the Peer Leadership Program at her school. In the program, Janet served as a mentor to underclassmen, worked on a number of community projects, and participated in an anti-bullying initiative. Not only does she consider her work as a peer leader to be one of her greatest accomplishments, but Janet also believes that it strengthened her love for helping others.
Outside of school, while juggling numerous household responsibilities, Janet took her passion for serving others to her community and church. She volunteered at various nursing homes and hospitals, like Saint Vincent, and local establishments such as the Habitats for Humanity ReStore. At her church, Janet was a member of the contemporary dance team for a number of years, and frequently served as a Sunday school teacher. She is now a member of the Hospitality Team, and a leader in the praise and worship team.
Currently, Janet plans to attend Brown University this fall with a cognitive neuroscience concentration. She is overjoyed to be one of only thirty-two students in the class of 2018 to be selected for the Brown University Sidney Frank Scholarship. As a Frank Scholar she has been given a full-ride to Brown University and will be able to graduate debt free. In the future, Janet hopes to attain her PhD, and work as a psychosomatic psychiatrist in a hospital. She has learned that getting involved in bettering the lives of others is important, and it is something she wants to continue doing throughout her life.