Antoinette Mpawenayo ’24

Antoinette Mpawenayo ’24
Antoinette Mpawenayo ’24


Major: Social Work, Theater


Why did you choose Goshen?

During my first year of high school I went to a retreat called Menno Haven. During that retreat, Goshen was one of the schools that were introducing themselves and I remember learning so much about it, but so much caught my attention.


I am very interested in the study abroad program, the small community, the social work program, and the theatre classes. Goshen has so much to offer and I really enjoyed that it was my first choice out of all the schools I applied to. I am so privileged to be a part of a wonderful community, but I also feel like Goshen College is a school that I will thrive at.


Why did you choose your major?

Currently, I am majoring in social work and theatre. When I was eight years old I took on the responsibility of translating, filling out documents, and helping my parents and other refugees in my community get the resources they needed. Ever since then I have wanted to continue doing that for many more people.


My interest in theatre comes from my experience as a circus performer. I have done a lot of clowning for many years, but being able to study theatre at Goshen has shown me the many differences and the minor similarities, but I really enjoy theatre. I love how I can put myself in another person’s shoes because that allows me to explore so many different things.


What career are you interested in pursuing?

I am interested in becoming a social worker for refugees, I really enjoy helping people. When I first came to America, there were so many things about this country I did not know.  Having many others help me understand was very helpful and it made me feel like I belonged instead of feeling like a stranger. The feeling of knowledge is very powerful and it can make people feel safe. I know it did for me, so if I have the chance to make other refugees feel safe I would love to do that.


What is a valuable experience that you have had at Goshen?

There were so many valuable experiences at Goshen, but one that sticks out to me the most was the Kickoff performance during my Spring semester. Being a first-year was very nerve-wracking, but so many students at Goshen are very welcoming, so I felt safe to be myself. I felt safe enough to have the courage to ask one of the current juniors at Goshen if they would like to perform a circus show with me. This experience not only made me feel safer at Goshen college. It also gave me a chance to continue my passion for the circus.