Honorine Akono eager to help people - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Honorine Akono eager to help people

Honorine Akono

Honorine Akono is a psychology major at LCC. She is originally from Togo, Africa.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles
Staff Writer

The meaning of someone’s name doesn’t always match that individual’s personality, but every so often it is fairly accurate.

The name Honorine has a Latin origin and means “woman of honor.” For LCC student Honorine Akono, it’s a perfect fit.  

Akono, 18, is a psychology major who is turning her life-long dream of helping people into a reality. She said she is taking 12 credits this semester. Her class schedule includes Intro to Psychology, College Algebra and English 121.

“I am passionate about making an impact,” Akono said, “whether that’s through my future career as a psychologist, or if I see someone on the street and make their day just by being myself.

“My generation has gone through a lot and there are not very many people who understand us. I want to be one of those people to tell them that I get it and I have been there.”

Akono works as a part-time program associate at LCC’s Caesar Chavez Learning Center in the Gannon Building, a multicultural center for outreach programs specifically designed for underrepresented students.

Akono is specifically qualified for the job as she was born in Togo, Africa. She said she came to America in 2004 when she was six months old. She recently went back to Africa to meet extended family, and to tour family landmarks.

“They showed me where they lived, the schools they went to, their churches,” Akono said. “My favorite part was the food; the food is amazing. Anywhere you go there (are) people on the side of the streets selling food.”

Akono is bilingual. Her first language is the native language of Togo, also known as Ewe. Akono is proud to be from Togo, but shared it also made her a target of hostility and racism.  

“I was bullied from kindergarten through seventh grade,” she said. “It was always something about my culture or because I was from Africa. I would bring my lunch that my mom made me and kids would make fun of me.

“After I finally learned how to defend myself, I told myself that I never would let anyone feel how I felt I feel. It shouldn’t happen.”

Despite every challenge she has faced and gracefully overcome, it is noticed that Akono maintains a smile. Dr. Nathaniel Colon is the director of the Caesar Chavez Center. Affectionately known by students and staff as Dr. Nate, Colon said he notices Akono’s smile and attitude.

“I love her energy, her presence, her intellect, and her kindness in helping other people,” Dr. Nate said. “She works really well with students. She is engaging and always has a lot of energy. That’s partly why we hired her. Her attitude brings a sense of vibrance to the center. We are very fortunate to have her.”

Her influence at LCC, and LCC’s involvement in her journey forward, is something to be shared.

“It’s just a great community,” Akono said. “Every staff member wants the best for the students. They remind every student of their resources. No one here is going to let any student fail.”

Akono loves the glow of city skylines and describes music as therapy. She can often be seen hanging out with her many friends and focusing on the things that matter.

“The most important thing to me,” she said, “is just to be happy and to always know my worth.”

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