University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

A young lady whose origin is as rich as her culture, I was born in Kenya and came to the United States to fulfill my dream. Currently pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Washington Tacoma, I truly do believe in understanding the different processes that we undergo in life and I am grateful to be able to share one of them in my article: The Journey to Awareness of an African Girl-Child.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


This paper explains my journey as an African girl-child coming into the awareness of who she is and how she perceived change in a new environment. As a young girl migrating to a different country, understanding and adjusting to a new set of rules became crucial. Social identities such as race, gender, and class became things that I was opened to in a new land. I had to be a fast learner or I would be left behind. Kenya being my origin, I became accustomed to many things, so when I moved to a new country my perspective shifted. How I once viewed the world is not how I view it currently. I allowed this journey to happen. It can be painful for some, but it made me stronger. Through self-analysis and reflection, this article explores how an individual’s social identities and self-awareness are influenced by the world around them and the people they interact with.


University of Washington Tacoma


T CRIM 225


Jeff Cohen