Christian Zidouemba

Headshot of Christian Zidouemba



Student Association President

Changemaker. Motivational Speaker. Visionary. Empathizer. When you meet Christian, you are instantaneously graced with his bright, contagious smile, dynamic positive energy, and vitality for life.  You will walk away with a changed perspective, the urge to do more for others, and of course, a huge smile on your face.  

Christian has spent most of his life beating the odds.  A native of Burkina Faso, West Africa, he was born a leader as the oldest of 9 siblings.  Due to poverty-stricken circumstances, he was forced to leave school at the age of 7 to provide for his family.  By the age of 14, he was told that school was not for him and that he would not amount to anything.  Seeking opportunities for a better life and a higher education, Christian's parents decided it was time for him to embark on a journey to the US, leaving behind his family, friends and beloved community.  He arrived in Falls Church, VA without any knowledge or ability to read, write or speak English.  Most would feel intimidated and powerless, but not Christian. He thrives on proving others wrong.  His infectious smile crossed language barriers as an eager freshman at Justice High School.  Determination, enthusiasm and gratitude allowed Christian to make friends quickly, to excel academically in the demanding International Baccalaureate program, and athletically on the Varsity soccer field.  Simultaneously, he seized every opportunity imaginable in school while working over 20 hours a week living in very modest conditions, often on the sofa of a friend's home.  

"All I will say is: you don't need to know my story yet. Next stop - George Washington University!"  His relentless hard work and beating-the-odds spirit, reaped rewards winning a nearly-full scholarship to his dream school to double major in International Relations and Business.  Christian also had a responsibility to support his family back home.  He worked almost 35 hours a week to bridge his financial gap and familial obligation while managing 18 credit hours a semester and maintaining an impressive GPA.  
Christian's work ethic is undeniably superhuman. He is the first Graduate student to be elected President of the Student Government.  Yet again, this win didn't come easily. It wasn't until his third attempt in his senior year that he triumphed - yes, he ran three hard-fought and time consuming campaigns.  According to Christian, if you really want something, you have to fight for it and never let anyone tell you "you can't."  His mission as President is to be the voice of those who have not been heard. He will work to expand the University's commitment to scholarships and career services.  As an altruistic leader, he plans to bridge the divide between the students and the underserved community of Washington, DC.  He never forgets his family and where he came from.  He is creating an NGO, raising capital to install a well in his family's village to provide clean, running water to relieve them from traveling miles on foot every day.